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A MAN AND HIS MONEY
TUI KW TMUT
A MAN AND HIS
Under the Rose, Half a Chance
The Social Bucaneer, Etc.
MAX J. SPERO
SYNDICATE PUBLISHING COMPANY
NEW YORK LONDON
* "^ '. * ■ 1 ■
Ths Bobbs-Merrill Company
A MAN AND HIS MONEY
A MAN AND HIS
THE COACH OF CONCORD
TTTELL? What can I
V Y The speaker — bl sc
do for you ?"
peaker — ^a scrubby Httle man —
wheeled in the rickety office chair to regard
some one hesitating on his threshold. The
tones were not agreeable; the proprietor of
the diminutive, run-down establishment, "The
St. Cecilia Music Emporium," was not, for
certain wdl defined reasons, in an amiable
mood that morning. He had been about to
reach down for a little brown jug which re-
posed on the spot usually allotted to the waste
paper basket when the shadow of the new-
comer fell obtrusively, not to say offensively,
2 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
It was not a reassuring shadow; it seemed
to spring from an indeterminate personality.
Mr. Kerry Mackintosh repeated his question
more bruskly; the shadow (obviously not a
customer, — no one ever sought Mr. Mackin-
tosh's wares!) started: his face showed signs
of a vacillating purpose.
"A mistake! Beg pardon!" he murmured
with exquisite politeness and began to back out,
when a somewhat brutal command on the
other's part to "shut that d door d
quick, and not let any more d hot air out"
arrested the visitor's purpose. Instead of re-
treating, he advanced.
/'I beg pardon, were you addressing me ?" he
asked. The half apologetic look had quite
The other considered, muttered at length in
an aggrieved tone something about hot air es-
caping and coal six dollars a ton, and ended
with : "What do you want ?"
"Work." The visitor's tone relapsed; it
was now conspicuous for its want of "success
waves"; it seemed to imply a definite cogni-
THE COACH OF CONCORD 3
zance of personal uselessness. He who had
brightened a moment before now spoke like
an automaton. Mr. Mackintosh looked at him
and his shabby garments. He had a contempt
for shabby garments— on others 1
"Grood day!" he said curtly.
But instead of going, the person coolly sat
down. The proprietor of the little shop glanced
toward the door and half started from his
chair. Whereupon the visitor smiled ; he had
a charming smile in these moments of calm
equipoise, it gave one an impression of poten-
tial possibilitiesw Mr. Mackintosh sank back
into his chair.
"Too great a waste of energy!" he mur-
mured, and having thus defined his attitude,
turned to a "proAf" of new rag-time. This he
surveyed discontentedly; struck out a note
here, jabbed in another there. The stranger
watched him at first casually. By sundry
signs the caller's fine resolution and assurance
seemed slowly oozing from him; perhaps he
began to have doubts as to the correctness of
his position, thus to storm a man in his own
4 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
castle, or office— even if it were such a disrep-
utable-appearing office !
He shifted his feet thoughtfully; a thin lock
of dark hair drooped more uncertainly over his
brow; he got up. The composer dashed a
blithe flourish to the tail of a note,
"Hold on/' he said. "What's your hurry?"
"Didn't know I was in a hurry!" There
was no attempted levity in his tone, — he spoke
rather listlessly, as one who had found the
world, or its problems, slightly wearisome.
The composer-publisher now arose; a new
thought had suddenly assailed him.
"You say you are looking for work. Why
did you drift in here?"
"The place looked small. Those big places
have no end of applicants — "
"Shouldn't think that would phase you.
With your nerve !"
The visitor flushed. "I seem to have made
rather a mess of it," he confessed. "I usually
do. Good day."
"A moment!" said Mr. Mackintosh. "One
THE COACH OF CONCORD 5
of my men*' — ^he emphasized "one," as if their
number were legion — "disappointed me this
morning. I expect he's in the lockup by this
time. Have you got a voice?"
"Can you sing?"
"I really don't know; haven't ever tried,
since" — z wonderful retrospection in his tones
— "since I was a little chap in church and wore
"Huh!" ejaculated the proprietor of the
Saint Cecilia shop, "Mama's angel boy 1 That
must have been a long time ago." The visitor
did not answer ; he pushed back uncertainly the
uncertain lock of dark hair and seemed al-
most to have forgotten the object of his
"Now see here" — ^Mr. Mackintosh's voice
became purposeful, energetic; he seated him-
self before a piano that looked as if it had led
a hard nomadic existence. "Now see here!"
Striking a few chords. "Suppose you try this
stunt 1 Whafs the Matter with Mother? My
own composition! Kerry Mackintosh at his
6 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
best I Now twitter away, if youVe any of that
angel voice left !'*
The piano rattled; the new-comer, with a
certain faint whimsical smile as if he appreci-
ated the humor of his position, did "twitter
away" ;. loud sounds fiUed the place. Quality
might be lacking but of quantity there was
"Bully !" cried Mr. Mackintosh enthusiastic-
ally. "That'll start the tears roU;ng. What's
the Matter with Mother? Nothing's the mat-
ter with mother. And if any one says there is —
Will it go? With that voice?" He clapped
his hand on the other's shoulder. "Why, man,
they could hear you across Madison Square.
You've a voice like an organ. Is it a *go' ?" he
"I don't think I quite understand," said the
"You don't, eh ? Look there !"
A covered wagon had at that moment
stopped before the door. It was drawn by a
horse whose appearance, like that of the piano,
spoke more eloquently of services in the past
THE COACH OF CONCORD 7
than of hopeful promises for thci future. On
the side of the vehicle appeared in large let-
ters: "Whafs the Matter with Mother? Lat-
est Melodic Triumph by America's Greatest
Composer, Mr. Kerry Mackintosh." A little
to the left of this announcement was painted a
harp, probably a reminder of the one Saint
Cecilia was supposed to have played. This
sentimental symbol was obviously intended to
lend dignity and respectability to the otherwise
disreputable vehicle of concord and its steed
without wings, waiting patiently to be off — or
to lie down and pay the debt of nature !
"Shall we try it again, angel voice?" asked
Mr. Mackintosh, playing the piano, or 'TbifRng
the ivories," as he called it
"Drop it," returned the visitor, "that 'angel'
"Oh, all right! Anything to oblige."
Before this vaguely apologetic reply, the
new-comer once more relapsed into thought-
fulness. His eye passed dubiously over the ve-
hicle of harmony; he began to take an inter-
est in the front door as if again inclined to
8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"back out." Perhaps a wish that the horse
might lie down and die at this moment (no
doubt he would be glad to ! ) percolated through
the current of his thoughts. That would offer
an easy solution to the proposal he imagined
would soon be fortlicoming — ^that was forth-
coming — ^and accepted. Of course! What
alternative remained? Needs must when an
empty pocket drives. Had he not learned the
lesson — beggars must not be choosers?
"And now," said Mr. Mackintosh with the
air of a man who had cast from his shoulders
a distinct problem, "that does away with the
necessity of bailing the other chap out. What's
The visitor hesitated. "Horatio Heather-
The other looked at him keenly. "The right
one," he said softly.
"You've got the only one you'll get," replied
the caller, after an interval.
Mr. Mackintosh bestowed upon him a know-
ing wink, "Sounds like a nom de plume," he
chuckled. "What was your line ?"
THE COACH OF CONCORD 9
**I don't understand."
''What did you serve time for? Shoplift-
"Oh, no," said the other calmly.
"Burglarizing?" With more respect in his
"What do you think?" queried the caller in
the same mild voice.
"Not ferocious-looking enough for that lay,
I should have thought. However, you can't
always tell by appearances. Now, I won-
"What?" observed Mr. Heatherbloom, after
an interval of silence.
"Yesl By Jove!" Mr. Mackintosh was
speaking to himself. "It might work — it might
add interest — '' Mr. Heatherbloom waited pa-
tiently. "Would you have any objections,"
earnestly, "to my making a little addenda to
the sign on the chariot of cadence? What's
the Matter with Mother? The touching lyric,
as interpreted by Horatio Heatherbloom, the
reformed burglar' ?"
"I should object," observed the caller.
lo A MA ' AND HIS MONEY
"My boy — niy boy ! Don't be hasty. Take
time to think, I'll go further ; I'll paint a few
iron bars in front of the harp. Suggestive of
a prisoner in jail thinking of mother. Say
"Too bad!" murmured Mr. Mackintosh in
disappointed but not altogether convinced
tones. "You could use another alias, you
know. If you're afraid the police might pipe
your game and nab — "
"Drop it, or—"
"All right, Mr. Heatherbloom, or any other
blooming name!" Recovering his jocular man-
ner. "It's not for me to inquire the 'why,' or
care a rap for the 'wherefore.' Ethics hasn't
anything to do with the realm of art."
As he spoke he reached under the desk and
took out the jug. "Have some?" extending the
The thin lips of the other moved, his hand
quickly extended but was drawn as suddenly
back. "Thanks, but I'm on the water wagon,
THE COACH OF CONCORD ii
'Well, I'm not. Do you know you said that
just like a gentleman — ^to the manner born."
"A gentleman ? A moment ago I was a re-
"You might be both,"
Mr. Heatherbloom looked into space; Mr.
Mackintosh did not notice a subtle change of
expression. That latter gentleman's rapt
gaze was wholly absorbed by the half -tumbler-
ful he held in mid air. But only for a moment ;
the next, he was smacking his lips. "We'll
have a bite to eat and then go," he now said
more cheerfully. "Ready for luncheon?'*
"I could eat"
"Had anything to-day ?"
"And maybe not !" Half jeeringly. 'Why
don't you say you've been training down, tak-
ing the go-without-breakfast cure? Say, it
must be hell looking for a job when you've just
'got out' 1"
"How do you know I just 'got out' ?"
*'You look it, and — ^there's a lot of reasons.
12 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Half an hour or so later the covered wagon
drove along Fourteenth street. Near the curb,
not far from the corner of Broadway, it sepa-
rated itself from the concourse of vehicles and
stopped. Close by, nickel palaces of amuse-
ment exhibited their yawning entrances, and
into these gilded maws floated, from the human
current on the sidewalk, a stream of men,
women and children. Encamped at the edge
of this eddy, Mr. Mackintosh sounded on the
nomadic piano, now ensconced within the coach
of concord, the first triumphal strains of the
maternal tribute in rag-time.
He and the conspiring instrument were con-
cealed in the depths of the vehicle from the
gaze of the multitude, but Mr. Heatherbloom
at the back faced them on the little step which
served as concert stage. There were no lime-
lights or stereopticon pictures to add to the
illusion,— only the disconcerting faces and the
light of day. He never before knew how bright
the day could be but he continued to stand
there, in spite of the ludicrous and trying po-
sition. He sang, a certain daredevil light in
THE COACH OF CONCORD 13
his eye now, a suspicion of a covert smile on
his face. It might be rather tragic — ^his posi-
tion — but it was also a little funny.
His voice didn't sound any better out of
doors than it did in; the "angel" quality of the
white-robed choir days had departed with
the soul of the boy. Perhaps Mr. Heather-
bloom didn't really feel the pathos of the
selection ; at any rate, those tears Mr. Mackin-
tosh had prophesied would be rolling down the
cheeks of the listening multitude weren't forth-
coming. One. or two onlookers even laughed.
"Pigs! Swine!" murmured the composer,
now passing through the crowd with copies of
the song. He sold a few, not many; on the
back step Mr. Heatherbloom watched with
faint sardonic interest.
"Have I earned my luncheon yet ?" he asked
the composer when that aggrieved gentleman,
jingling a few dimes, returned to the equipage
"Haven't counted up," was the gruff reply.
"Give 'em another verse! They ain't accus-
tomed to it yet. Once they git to know it.
14 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
every boot-black in town will be whistling that
song. Don't I know? Didn't I write it?
Ain't they all had mothers ?"
"Maybe they're all Topsies and 'just
growed'," suggested Mr. Heatherbloom.
"Patience !" muttered the other. "The pub-
lic may be a little coy at first, but once they git
started they'll be fighting for copies. So en-
core, my boy; hammer it into them. We'll
get them ; you see !"
But the person addressed didn't see, at least
with Mr, Mackintosh's clairvoyant vision. Mr.
Heatherbloom's gaze wandering quizzically
from the little pool of mask-like faces had
rested on a great shining mbtor-car approach-
ing — slowly, on account of the press of
traffic. In this wide luxurious vehicle re-
posed a young girl, slender, exquisite; at her
side sat a big, dark, distinguished-appearing
man, with a closely cropped black beard; a
foreigner — most likely Russian.
The girl was as beautiful as the dainty or-
chids with which the superb car was adorned,
and which she, also, wore in her gown — ^yellow
THE COACH OF CONCORD 15
orchids, tenderly fashioned but very insistent
and bright Upon this patrician vision Mr.
Heatherbloom had inadvertently looked, and
the pathetic plaint regarding "Mother" died
on the wings of nothingness. With unfilial re-
spect he literally abandoned her and cast her
to the winds. His eyes gleamed as they rested
on the girl; he seemed to lose himself in
Did she, the vision in orchids, notice him?
Perhaps! The chauffeur at that moment in-
creased the speed of the big car; but as it
dashed past, the crimson mouth of the beauti-
ful girl tightened and hardened into a straight
line and those wonderful starlike eyes shone
suddenly with a light as hard as steel. Dis-
dainful, contemptuous ; albeit, perhaps, passion-
ate! Then she, orchids, shining car and all
were whirled on.
Rattle ! bang ! went the iron-rimmed wheels
of other rougher vehicles. Bing ! bang ! sounded
the piano like a soul in torment.
Horatio Heatherbloom stood motionless;
then his figure swayed slightly. He lifted the
i6 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
music, as if to shield his features from the
others — ^his many auditors; but they didn't
mind that brief interruption; it afforded a
moment for that rough and ready dialogue
which a gathering of this, kind finds to its lik-
"Give him a trokee ! Anybody got a cough
"It's soothing syrup he wants,"
"No; it's us wants that"
"What the devil — " Mr. Mackintosh looked
out of the wagon.
Mr. Heatherbloom suddenly laughed, a
forced reckless laugh. "Guess it was the
dampness. I'm like some artists — ^have to be
careful where I sing."
"Have a tablet, feller, do!" said a man in
Horatio looked him in the eye. "Maybe it's
you want something."
The facetious one began to back away; he
had seen that look before, the steely glint that
goes before battle.
"The chord now, if you please!" said Mr.
THE COACH OF CONCORD 17
Heatherbloom to the composer in a still quiet
Mr. Mackintosh hit viciously ; Mr. Heather-
bloom sang again ; he did more than that He
outdid himself ; he employed bombast, — some
thought it pathos. He threw a tremolo into his
voice ; it passed for emotion. He "caught 'em",
in Mr. Mackintosh's parlance, and "caught 'em
hard". Some more people bought copies. The
alert Mr. Mackintosh managed to gather in
about a dollar, and saw, in consequence, great
fortune "coming his way" at last; the clouds
had a golden lining.
"Say, you're the pard I've been a-looking
fori" he jubilantly told Mr. Heatherbloom as
they prepared to move on. "We'll make a
beautiful team. Isn't it a peach?"
"That song. It made them look like a rainy
day. Git up!" And Mr. Mackintosh prodded
the bony ribs of their steed.
Mr. Heatherbloom absent-mindedly gazed in
the direction the big shining motor had van-
MR. HEATHERBLOOM'S new-found
employment proved but ephemeral.
The next day the sheriff took possession of the
music emporium and all it contained, including
the nomadic piano and the now empty jug.
The contents of the last the composer-publisher
took care to put beyond reach of his many
creditors whom he,, in consequence, faced with
a seemingly care-free, if artificial, jocularity.
Mr. Heatherbloom walked soberly forth from
the shop of concord.
He had but turned the comer of the street
when into the now dissonant *'hole in the
wall", amid the scene of wreck and disaster,
stepped a tall dark man, with a closely cropped
beard, who spoke English with an accent and
who regarded the erstwhile proprietor and the
VARYING FORTUNES 19
minions of the law with ill-concealed arro-
gance and disfavor.
'*You have," he began in halting tones, **a
young man here who sings on the street like
the minstrels of old, the — what you call them?
"We had/' corrected Mr. Mackintosh. *'He
has just *jumped the coup,' or rather been
The new-comer fastened his gaze upon the
other; he had superb, almost mesmeric eyes.
"Will you kindly speak the language as I un-
derstand it ?" he said. And the other did, for
there was that in the caller's manner which
compelled immediate compliance. Immovably
he listened to the composer-publisher's expla-
''Eh bienT he said, his handsome, rather
barbaric head high when Mr. Mackintosh had
concluded. "He is gone ; it is well ; I have ful-
filled my mission." And walking out, the im-
posing stranger hailed a taxi and disappeared
from the neighborhood.
Meanwhile Mr. Horatio Heatherbloom had
20 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
walked slowly on ; he was now some distance
from the one-time "emporium." Where should
he go? His fortunes had not been enhanced
materially by his brief excursion into the
realms of melody; he had thirty cents in cash
and a "doUar-and-a-half appetite." An untidy
place where they displayed a bargain assort-
ment of creature comforts attracted his gaze.
He thought of meals in the past — of caviar,
a la Russe, three dollars and a half a portion;
peaches Melba, three francs each at the Cafe de
Paris; truffled capon from Normandy; duck
after the manner of the incomparable Frederic.
About half a dozen peaches Melba would have
appealed to him now ; he looked, instead, with
the eyes of longing at a codfish ball. Oh, glori-
ous appetite, mocking recollections of hours of
Should he yield to temptation ? He stopped ;
then prudence prevailed. The day was yet too
young to give way recklessly to casual gas-
tronomic allurements, so he stepped on again
quickly, averting his head from shop windows.
Lest his caution and conservatism might give
VARYING fORTUNES 21
way, he started to turn into a side street — ^but
Instead, he laughed slightly to himself.
What! flee from an outpost of time-worn cel-
ery? beat an inglorious retreat before a pha-
lanx of machine-made pies? He would look
them (figuratively) in the eye. Having, as it
were, fairly stared out of countenance the
bland pies and beamed with stem contempt
upon the *'droopy," Preraphaelite celery, he .
went, better satisfied, on his way. It is these
little victories that count; at that mo-
ment Mn Heatherbloom marched on like
a knight of old for steadfastness of
purpose. His lips veiled a covert smile, as if
behind the hard mask of life he saw something
a little odd and whimsical, appealing to some
secret sense of humor that even hunger could
not wholly annihilate. The lock of hair seemed
to droop rather pathetically at that moment;
his sensitive features were slightly pinched ; his
face was pale. It would probably be paler be-
fore the day was over; n' import e! The future
had to be met — for better, or worse. Multi-
22 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
tudes passed this way and that; an elevated
went crashing by; devastating influences
seemed to surround him. His slender form
When next he stopped it was to linger,
not in front of an eating establishment, but
before a bulletin-board upon which was pasted
a page of newspaper "want ads" for "trained"
men, in all walks of life. "Trained" men?
Hateful word ! How often had he encountered
it! Ah, here was one advertisement without
the "trained"; he devoured it eagerly. The
item, like an oasis in the desert of his general
incapacity and uselessness, exercised an odd
fascination for him in spite of the absolute im-
possibility of his professing to possess a frac-
tional part of those moral attributes demanded
by the fair advertiser. She — z Miss Van Rol-
sen — ^was seeking a paragon, not a person.
Nevertheless, he resolved to assail the appar-
ently unassailable, and repaired to a certain
ultrafashionable neighborhood of the town.
Before a brownstone front that bore the
number he sought, he paused a moment, drew
VARYING FORTUNES 23
a deep breath and started to walk up the front
steps. But with a short laugh he came sud-
denly to a halt half-way up; looked over the
stone balustrade down at the other entrance
below — ^the tradesmen's — the butchers', the
bakers', the candlestick makers' — ^and, yes, the
servants' — ^their way in ! — ^his ? ^
He went down the steps and walked on and
away as a matter of course, but once more
stopped. He had done a- good deal of going
this way and that, and then stopping, during
the last few months. Things had to be worked
out, and sometimes his brain didn't seem to
move very quickly.
To be worked out! He now surveyed the
butchers' and the bakers' (and yes, the serv-
ants') entrance with casual or philosophic in-
terest from the vantage point of the other side
of the street It wasn't different from any
other of the entrances of the kind but it held
his gaze. Then he walked across the street
again and went in — or down. It didn't really
seem now such a bad kind of entrance when
you came to investigate it, in a high impersonal
24 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
way; not half so bad as the subway, and people
didn't mind that.
Still Mr. Heatherbloom experienced a pecu-
liar thrill when he put up his thumb, pressed a
button, and wondered what next would hap-
pen. Who answered doors down here, — the
maid — the cook — the laundress ? He felt him-
self to be very indistinct and vague standing
there in the shadow, and tried to assume a
nonchalant bearing. He wondered just what
bearing was proper under the circumstances;
he cherished indistinct recollections of having
heard or read that the butcher's boy is usually
favored with a broadly defying and independ-
ent visage ; that he comes in whistling and goes
forth swaggering. A cat-meat man he had
once looked upon from the upper lodge of
front steps somewhere in the dim long ago, had
possessed a melancholy manner and counte-
How should he comport himself; what
should he say — ^when the inevitable happened ;
when the time came to say something? How
lead the conversation by natural and easy
VARYING FORTUNES 25
stages to the purport of his visit? He re-
hearsed a few sentences, then straightway for-
got them. Why did they keep him waiting so
long? Did they always keep people as long as
that — down here ? He put his thumb again —
"Well, what do you want?" The door had
opened and a buxom female, arms akimbo, re-
garded him. Mr. Heatherbloom repaid her
gaze with interest ; it was the cook, then, who
acted as door tender of these regions subter-
ranean. He feared by her expression that he
had interrupted her in the preparation of some
esculent delicacy, and with the fear was bom a
parenthetical inquiry; he wondered what that
delicacy might be ? But forbearing to inquire
he stated his business.
"You'll be the thirteenth that's been 'turned
down' to-day for that job!" observed cook
blandly. With which cheering assurance she
consigned him to some one else — a maid with
a tipped-up nose — and presently he found him*
self being "shown up" ; that was the expression
The room into which he was ushered was a
26 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
parlor. Absently he seated himself. The maid
tittered. He looked at her — or rather the
tipped-up nose, an attractive bit of anatomy.
Saucy, provocative! Mr. Heatherbloom*s head
tilted a little; he surveyed the detail with the
look of a connoisseur. She colored, went; but
remained in the hall to peer. There were many
articles of virtu lying around — on tables or in
cabinets — ^and the caller's appearance was
against him. He would bear watching ; he had
the impudence — Just fancy his sitting there
in a chair! He was leaning back now as if he
enjoyed that atmosphere of luxury; surveying,
too, the paintings and the bronzes with interest.
But for no good reason, thought the maid;
then gave a start of surprise. The hand of the
suspicious-looking caller had lifted involunta-
rily to his breast pocket; a mechanical move-
ment such as a young gentleman might make
who was reaching for a cigarette case. Did
he intend — actually intend to — ^but the caller's
hand fell ; he sat forward suddenly on the edge
of his chair and seemed for the first time
aware that his attitude partook of the anoma-
VARYING FORTUNES 27
lous ; for gathering up his shabby hat from the
gorgeous rug, he abruptly rose.
Just in time to confront, or be confronted by,
an austere lady in stiff satin or brocade and
with bristling iron-gray hair! He noticed,
however, that unlike the maid, she had a very
prominent nose — that now sniffed !
"Good heavens! What a frightful odor of
gasolene. Jane, where are my salts ?"
Jane rushed in ; at the same time four or five
does that had followed in the lady's wake
began to bark as if they, too, were echoing the
plaint: *'What a frightful odor! Salts, Jane,
salts!" And as they barked in many keys,
but always fortissimo, they ran frantically this
way and that as though chased by somebody
or something (perhaps the odor of gasolene),
or chasing one another in a mad outburst of
"Sardanapolis ! Beauty! Curly! Naughty!"
the lady called out.
But in vain. Sardanapolis continued to cut
capers; Beauty's conduct was not beautiful;
while as for Naughty (all yellow bows and
28 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
black curls) he seemed endeavoring to live up
to the fullest realization of his name.
"Dear me! What ^/ta// 1 do r
"Just let 'em alone, ma'am/* ventured Jane,
"and they'll soon tire themselves out."
Fortunately, by this time, the be-ribboned
pets showed signs of reaching that state of
"Dear me!" said now the lady anxiously.
"How wet the poor dears' tongues are !"
"Nature of the b — poor dears, ma'am!"
The lady looked at her. ^'You don't like
dogs," she said. "You can go." And then to
Mr. Heatherbloom : "What brought you here ?
Don't answer at once. Stand farther back."
Mr. Heatherbloom, who seemed to have been
rather enjoying this little impromptu entertain-
ment, straightened with a start; he retired a
few paces, observing in a mild explanatory tone
something about spots on his garments and the
necessity for having them removed at a certain
little Greek shop, before doing himself the
honor of calling and —
VARYING FORTUNES 29
"You're another answer to the advertisement
then, I suppose?" the lady's voice unceremoni-
He confessed himself Another Answer, and
in that capacity proceeded now to reply as best
he might to a merciless and rapid fire of ques-
tions. She would have made an excellent cross-
examiner for the prosecution; Mr. Heather-
bloom did not seem to enjoy the grilling. A
number of queries he answered frankly; oth-
ers he evaded. He seemed — ominous circum-
stance! — especially secretive regarding certain
details of his past. He did not care to say
where he was bom, or who his parents were.
What had he done? What occupations had he
Well — he seemed to hesitate a good deal —
he had once tried washing dishes ; but — dream-
ily — they had discharged him; the man said
something about there being a debit balance on
account of damaged crockery. He had essayed
the role of waiter but had lasted only through
the first courses; down to the entrees, he
thought; certainly not much past the pottage.
30 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
He believed he bumped into another waiter ; a
few guests within range had seemed put out;
afterward, he himself was put out. And then
— ^well, he had somehow drifted, more or
*'Drif ted !" said the lady ominously.
, "Oh, yes! Tried his hand at this and that,"
he added rather blithely. He once worked
for a moving-picture firm; fell from a six-
story window for them. That is, he started to
fall ; something — 2l net or a platform — ^was sup-
posed to catch him at the fifth, and then a
dummy completed the descent and got smashed
on the sidewalk. He was a little doubtful about
their intercepting him at the fifth and that he,
instead of the dummy — But he didn't seem
to mind taking the risk — reflectively. They
said he was a great success falling through the
air, and they had him, in consequence, fall
from all kinds of places — ^through drawbridges
into the water, for example. That's where he
contracted a bad cold, and when he had recov-
ered, another man had been found for the
heavier-than-air role —
VARYING FORTUNES 31
**What are you talking about ?" The lady's
back was stiff er than a poker.
"If ever you go to a moving-picture palace
of amusement. Madam, and see a streak in the
air, you might reasonably conclude you are" —
he bowed — "beholding me. I went once; it
seemed funny. I hardly recognized myself in
the part. I certainly seemed to be 'going
some'," he murmured seriously. "Is there
anything else, Madam, you would care to ques-
tion me about?"
"I think," she said significantly, "what I
have learned is quite sufficient. If the occupa-
tions you have told me about are so disreputa-
ble — what were those you have kept so care-
fully concealed? For example, where were
you and what were you doing four — five — six
— ^years ago? You have already refused to an-
swer. You relate only a few inconsequential
and outre trifles. To cover up — What?
What ?" she repeated.
Then she transfixed him with her eye; the
dogs transfixed him with their eyes. Accusing-
ly? Not all of them. Naughty's glance ex-
32 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
pressed approval ; his tail underwent a friendly
"Naughty !" said the lady sharply. Naughty
gamboled around Horatio.
"How odd!" murmured the mistress, more
to herself than the other. "How very extraor-
"What, Madam ?" he ventured.
"That Naughty, who so seldom takes to
strangers, should — " she found herself saying.
"Perhaps it's the scent of the gasolene," he
"It's in spite of the gasolene," she retorted
And for some moments ruminated. It was
not until afterward Mr. Heatherbloom learned
that her confidence in Naughty's instinct
amounted to a hobby. Only once had she
thought him at fault in his likes or dislikes of
people; when he had showed a predilection for
the assistant rector's shapely calves. But after
that gentleman's elopement with a lady of the
choir and his desertion of wife and children,
Naughty's erstwhile disrespect for the cloth.
VARYING FORTUNES 33
which Miss Van Rolsen had grieved over, be-
came illumined with force and significance.
Thereafter she had never doubted him ; he had
barked at all twelve of Mr. Heatherbloom's
predecessors — ^the dozen other answers to the
advertisement; but here he was sedulous for
fondlings from Horatio. Extraordinary truly!
The lady hesitated.
"I suppose we shall all be murdered in our
beds/' she said half to herself, "but," with sud-
den decision, "Fve concluded to engage you."
"And my duties?" ventured Mr. Heather-
bloom. "The advertisement did not say."
"You are to exercise the darlings every day
in the park."
"Ah!" Horatio's exclamation was non-
committal. What he might have added was
interrupted by a light footstep in the hall and
the voice of some one who stopped in passing
before the door.
"I am going now. Aunt," said a voice.
Mr. Heatherbloom started; his hand tight-
ened on the back of a chair; from where he
stood he could see but the rim of a wonderful
34 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
hat He gazed at a few waving roses, fitting
notes of color as it were, for the lovely face
behind, concealed from him by the curtain.
The elderly lady answered; Mr. Heather-
bloom heard a Prince Someone's name men-
tioned; then the roses were whisked back;
the voice — musical as silver bells — receded,
and the front door closed. .Mr. Heatherbloom
gazed around him — ^at the furnishings in the
room — she who stood before him. He seemed
"And now as to your wages," said a voice —
not silver bells ! — ^sharply.
"I hardly think I should prove suitable — "
he began in somewhat panic-stricken tones,
"Nonsense !" The word, or the energy im-
parted to it, appeared to crush for the moment
further opposition on his part ; his faculties be-
came concentrated on a sound without, of a
big car gathering headway in front of the door.
Mr. Heatherbloom listened ; perhaps he would
have liked to retreat then and there from tliat
house; but it was too late! Fate had precipi-
VARYING FORTUNES 35
tated him here. A mad tragic jest! He did
not catch the amount of his proposed stipend
that was mentioned; he even forgot for the
moment he was hungry. He could no longer
hear the car. It had gone; but, it would re-
turn. Return! And then — ? His head
whirled at the thought
MR. HEATHERBLOOM, a few days
later, sat one morning in Central Park.
His canine charges were tied to the bench and
while they chafed at restraint and tried vainly
to get away and chase squirrels, he scrutinized
one of the pages of a newspaper some person
had left there. What the young man read
seemed to give him no great pleasure. He put
down the paper ; then picked it up again and re-
garded a snap-shot illustration occupying a
conspicuous position on the society page.
"Prince Boris Strogareff, riding in the
park," the picture was labeled. The newspa-
per photographer had caught for his sensa-
tional sheet an excellent likeness of a foreign
visitor in whom New York was at the time
greatly interested. A picturesque personality —
AN ENCOUNTER 37
the prince — ^half distinguished gentleman, half
bold brigand in appearance, was depicted on a
superb bay, and looked every inch a horseman.
Mr. Heatherbloom continued to stare at the
likeness; the features, dark, rather wild-look-
ing, as if a trace of his ancient Tartar ancestry
had survived the cultivating touch of time.
Then the young man on the bench once more
turned his attention to the text accompanying
"Reported engagement of Miss Elizabeth
Dalr3miple to Prince Boris Strogareff . . .
the prince has vast estates in Russia and Rus-
sia-Asia ... his forbears were prominent
in the days when Crakow was building and the
Cossacks and the Poles were engaged in con-
stant strife on the steppe . . . Miss Dal-
rymple, with whom this stalwart romantic per-
sonage is said to be deeply enamored, is niece
and heiress of the eccentric Miss Van Rolsen,
the third richest woman in New York, and,
probably, in the world. . . . Miss Dalrym-
ple is the only surviving daughter of Charles
Dalrymple of San Francisco, who made his
38 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
fortune with Martin Ferguson of the same
place, at the time — "
The paper fell from Mr. Heatherbloom's
hand; for several moments he sat motionless;
then he got up, unloosened his charges and
moved on. They naturally became once more
wild with joy, but he heeded not their exuber-
ances ; even Naughty 's demonstrations brought
no answering touch of his hand, that now lift-
ed to his breast and took something from his
pocket — ^an article wrapped in a pink tissue-
paper. Mr. Heatherbloom unfolded the warm-
tinted covering with light sedulous fingers and
looked steadily and earnestly at a miniature.
But only for a brief interval; by this time
Curly et al. had become an incomprehensible
tangle of dog and leading strings about Mr.
Heatherblo<Mn's legs. So much so, indeed, that
in the effort to extricate himself he dropped the
tiny picture; with a sudden passionate exclama-
tion he stooped for it. The anger that trans-
formed his usually mild visage seemed about
to vent itself on his charges but almost at once
AN ENCOUNTER 39
Carefully brushing the picture on his coat, he
replaced it in his pocket and quietly started
to disentangle his charges from himself. This
was at length accomplished; he knew, how-
ever, that the unraveling would have to be
done all over again ere long; it constituted an
important part of his duties. The promenade
was ptmctuated by about so many "mix-ups" ;
Mr. Heatherbloom accepted them philosoph-
ically, or absent-mindedly. At any rate, while
untying knots or disengaging things, he usu-
ally exhibited much patience.
It might have been noticed some time later
that Mr. Heatherbloom, retracing his foot-
steps to Miss Van Rolsen's, betrayed a rather
vacillating and uncertain manner, as if he were
somewhat reluctant to go into, or to approach
too near the old-fashioned stiff and stately
house. For fear of meeting some one, or a
dread of some sudden encounter ? With Miss
Van Rolsen's niece? So far he had not seen
her since that first day. Perhaps he congratu- ,
lated himself on his good fortune in this re-
spect. If so, he reckoned without his host.
40 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
It is possible for two people to frequent the
same house for quite a while without meet-
ing when one of them lives on the avenue
side and flits back and forth via the front steps,
while the other comes and goes only by the
subterranean route; but, sooner or later,
though belonging to widely different worlds,
these two are bound to come face to face, even
in spite of the determination of one of the per-
sons to avert such a contingency !
Mr. He^therbloom always peered carefully
about before venturing from the house with
his pampered charges; he was no less watch-
fully alert when he returned. He could not,
however, having only five senses, tell when the
front door might be suddenly opened at an
inopportune moment. It was opened, this very
morning, on the third day of his probation at
such a moment. And he had been planning,
after reading the newspaper article in the park,
to tender his resignation that very afternoon !
It availed him nothing now to regret indeci-
sion, his being partly coerced by the masterful
mistress of the house into remaining as long
AN ENCOUNTER 41
as he had remained; or to lament that other
sentiment, conspiring to this end — ^the desire
or determination, not to flee from what he
most feared. Empty bravado! If he could
but flee now ! But there was no fleeing, turn-
ing, retreating, or evading. The issue had to
Miss Dalrymple, gowned in a filmy material
which lent an evanescent charm to her slender
figure, came down the front steps as he was
about to enter the area way below. The girl
looked at him and her eyes suddenly widened ;
she stopped. Mr. Heatherbloom, quite pale,
bowed and would have gone on, when some-
thing in her look, or the first word that fell
from her lips, held him.
"You!" she said, as if she did not at all com-
He repaid her regard with less steady look ;
he had to say something and he didn't wish to.
Why couldn't people just meet and pass on,
the way dumb creatures do? The gift of speech
has its disadvantages — on occasions; it forces
one to insufficient answer or superfluous ex-
42 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
planation. "Yes/* he said, "your — Miss Van
Rolsen engaged me. I didn't really want to
stay, but it came about Some things do, you
know. You see," he. added, "I didn't know she
was your aunt when I answered the advertise-
She bent her gaze down upon him as if she
hardly heard ; beneath the bright adornment of
tints, the lovely face — it was a very proud face
— ^had become icy cold; the violet eyes were
hard as shining crystal. To Mr. Heatherbloom
that slender figure, tensely poised, seemed at
once overwhelmingly near and inexpressibly
remote. He started to lean on an iron picket
but changed his mind and stood rather too
stiffly, without support. Before his eyes the
flowers in her hat waved and waved ; he tried
to keep his eyes on them.
"I had been intending," he observed in tones
he endeavored* to make light, "to tell Miss Van
Rolsen she must find some one else to take my
place. It would not be very difficult. It is not
a position that requires a trained man."
"Difficult?" She seemed to have difficulty
AN ENCOUNTER 43
in speaking the word; her cold eyes suddenly
lighted with unutterable scorn. If any one in
this world ever experienced thorough disdain
for any one else, her expression implied it was
she that experienced it for him. "Valet for
Mr. Heatherbloom flushed. 'They are very
nice dogs," he murmured. "Indeed, they are
She gave an abrupt, frozen little laugh ; then
bent down her face slightly. "And do you wash
and curl and perfume them?" she asked, her
small white teeth setting tightly after she
"Well, I don^t perfume them," answered Mr.
Heatherbloom. "Miss Van Rolsen attends to
that herself. She knows the particular essences
better than I." A slightly strained smile strug-
gled about his lips. "You see Beauty has one
kind, and Naughty another. At least, I think
so. While Sardanapolis isn't given any at all."
Can violet eyes shine fiercely? Hers cer-
tainly seemed to. "How," she said, examining
him as one would study something very re-
44 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
mote and impersonal, "did my aunt happen to
employ — ^you? I know she is very particular
— about recommendations. What ones did
you have ? Were they forged ones," suddenly,
"or stolen ones?" The red lips like rosebuds
had become straightly drawn now.
"No," answered Mr. Heatherbloom. "I
didn't have any. I just came, and — "
"Saw and conquered!" said the girl. But
there was no levity in her tone. She continued
to gaze at him and yet through him ; at some-
thing beyond — ^afar — "I don't tmderstand
why she should have takeh you — "
^Shall I explain?"
'And I don't care why she did!" Not no-
ticing his interruption. "The principal thing is,
why did you want this position? What ulte-
rior motive lay behind?" She was speaking
now almost automatically, as if he were not
present. "For, of course, there was some other
"The truth is," observed Mr. Heatherbloom
lightly, but passing an uncertain hand over his
brow. "I had reached that point — I should
AN ENCOUNTER 45
qualify by saying I have long been at the point
where one is willing to take any 'honest work
of any kind'. I suppose you have heard the
phrase before ; it's a common one. But believe
me, it was quite by accident I came here;
" 'Believe you'," said the girl, as one would
address an inferior for the purpose of putting
him into the category where he belongs.
" 'Honest work' I When have you been par-
ticular as to that; whether or not" — ^with
mocking irony in the pitiless violet eyes — "it
Mr. Heatherbloom started ; his gaze met hers
unwaveringly. "You don't think, then, that
"Think?" said the girl. "I know."
"Would you mind — explaining?" he asked
quietly. He didn't need any support now, but
stood with head well back, a steady gleam in
his look. "What you — ^know ?"
"I know — ^you are a thief !" She spoke the
His face twitched. "How do you know ?"
46 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
**By the kind of evidence I can believe."
**And that ?" he said in the same quiet voice.
"The evidence of my own eyes!"
He was still, as if thinking. He looked
down ; then away.
"Why don't you protest?" she demanded
"Protest," he repeated.
"Or ask me to explain further — "
"Well, explain further," he said patiently.
"Put your mind back three weeks ago — at
about eleven o'clock in the morning. Where
were you? what were you doing? what was
Mr. Heatherbloom looked very thoughtful.
"At the comer of" — ^she mentioned the
streets — "not far from Riverside Drive. We
passed at that time in the car. Need I say
His head was downbent. "I think I under-
stand." His hand stroked tentatively his chin.
The silence grew; Beauty barked, but nei-
ther seemed to notice.
"Of course you can't deny?" she observed.
AN ENCOUNTER 47
**0f course not/' he said, without moving.
"You won't defend yourself; plead palliat-
ing causes ?" ironically.
He picked at the ground with the toe of a
shoe. "If I told you, on my honor, I am not —
what you have called me just now, would you
believe me?" he asked gravely.
"On your honor," said the girl with a cruel
smile. "Yours? No!"
"Then," he spoke as if to himself, "I don't
suppose there's any use in denying. Your mind
is made up."
"My mind !" she answered. "Can I not see ;
hear? Can you not hear — ^those voices? Do
they not follow you ?"
He seemed striving for an answer but could
not find it. Once he looked into the violet eyes
questioningly, deeply, as if seeking there to
read what he should say, but they flashed only
the hard rays of diamonds at him, and he
turned his head slowly away.
"I see," she remarked, "you remember; but
you do not care."
48 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"I — ^you reconcile the idea of my being that
very easily with — "
"It fits perfectly," said the girl, "with the
rest of the picture ; what one has already pieced
together; it is just another odd-shaped black
bit that goes in snugly. You appreciate the
"I think I do/' answered Mr. Heatherbloom.
"You are alluding to picture puzzles. Is there
anything more?" He started as if to go.
"One moment — of course, you can't stay
here," said the girl.
"I had intended to go at once, as I told you,"
observed Mr. Heatherbloom.
"You had ? You mean you will ?"
"No ; I won't go now. That is," he added,
"of my own volition."
"You do well to qualify. Would you not
prefer to go of your own volition than to have
me inform my aunt who you are — ^what you
He shook his head. "I won't resign now,"
"And so show yourself a fool as well as — "
AN ENCOUNTER 49
She did not speak the word, but it trembled on
the sweet passionate lips.
He did not answer.
"Suppose," she went on, "I offer you the
chance and do not speak, if you will go — ^imme-
"I can't," he answered.
Her brows bent; her little hand seemed to
clench. But he stood without looking at her,
appearing absorbed in a tiny bit of cloud in
"Very well !" she said, a dangerous glint in
He looked quite insignificant at the moment;
she was far above him ; his clothes were thread-
bare, the way thieves' clothes, or pickpockets',
"If you expect any mercy from me — " she
But she did not finish; a figure, approaching,
caught her eye — ^the handsome stalwart figure
of a man; whose features lighted at sight of
50 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Her face changed. "An unexpected pleas-
ure, Prince," she said with almost an excess of
He answered in kind; she came down the'
steps quickly, offering him her hand. And as
he gallantly raised the small perfumed fingers
to his lips, Mr. Heatherbloom seemed to fade
away into the dark subterranean entrance.
FATE AT THE DOOR
A LTHOUGH Mr. Heatherbloom waited
jr\, expectantly that day for his dismissal,
it did not come. This surprised him some-
what; then he reflected that Miss Elizabeth
Dalrymple was probably so absorbed in the
prince— remembering her rather effusive greet-
ing of that fortunate individual — she had for-
gotten such a small matter as having the dog
valet ejected from the premises. She would
remember on the morrow, of course.
But she didn't! The hours passed, and he
was suffered to go about the even, or uneven,
tenor of his way. This he did mechanically;
he scrubbed and combed Beauty beautifully.
With a dire sense of fate knocking at the door,
he passed her on to Miss Van Rolsen, to be
freshly be-ribboned by that lady's own particu-
52 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
lar hand. The thin bony finger he thought
would be pointed accusingly at him, busied it-
self solely with the knots and bows of a new
ribbon; after which the grim lady dismissed
him — from her presence, not the house —
Several days went by; still no one accused
him; he was still suffered to remain. Why?
He could not understand. At the end of a long
— ^seemingly interminable week — he put him-
self deliberately in the way of finding out.
Coming to, or going from the house, he lin-
gered around the area entrance, purposely to
encounter her whom he had heretofore, above
all others, wished to avoid. A feverish desire
possessed him to meet the worst, and then go
about his way, no matter where it might lead
him. He was past solicitude in that regard.
He did at length manage to meet her — not as
before in the full daylight but toward dusk, as
she returned, this time on foot, to the house.
"Miss Dalrymple, may I speak to you?" he
said to the indistinctly seen, slender figure that
started lightly up the front steps.
FATE AT THE DOOR 53
She did not even stop, although she must
have heard him ; a moment he saw her like a
shadow; then the front door opened. He
heard a crisp metallic click; the door closed.
Slowly with head a little downbent he walked
out, up the way she had come; then around
the comer a short distance to the stables over
which he had his room.
It was a nice room, he had at first thought,
probably because he liked horses. They — four
or five thoroughbreds — whinnied as he opened
the door. He had started up the dark narrow
stairs to his chamber, but stopped at that
sound and groped about from stall to stall
passing around the expected lumps of sugar.
After which all seemed well as far as he. and
they were concerned.
Only that other problem! — ^he could not
shake it from him. To resign now? — ^under
fire? How he wished he might! But to re-
main? — ^his situation was intolerable. He
went up to his room feeling like a ghost; his
mind was full of dark presences, as if he had
lived a thousand times before and had been
54 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
surrounded only by hostile influences that now
came back in the still watches of the night to
He dreaded going to the house the next day,
but he went Perhaps, he reflected, she was
only allowing him to retain his present posi-
tion under a kind of espionage; to trap him and
put him beyond the pale of respectable society.
He remembered the cruel lips, the passionate
dislike — contempt — even hatred — in her eyes.
Yes; that might be it — ^the reason for her
temporary silence; the house was full of valu-
able things ; sooner or later —
"Are you quite satisfied, Madam, with my
services?" said Mr. Heatherbloom that after-
noon to Miss Van Rolsen.
"You seem to do well enough," she answered
He brightened. "Perhaps some one else
would do better."
"Perhaps," she returned dryly. "But I'm not
going to try."
"But," he said desperately, "I— I don't
think they — the dogs, like me quite so much
FATE AT THE DOOR 55
as they did. Naughty, in particular," he
added quickly. "I — I thought yesterday he
would have liked to — growl and nip at me."
"Did he," she asked, studying him with dis-
concerting keenness, "actually do that?"
"Do I understand you wish to give me no-
tice?" she interrupted sharply.
"Not at all." In an alarmed tone. "I
couldn't — I mean I wouldn't do that. Only I
thought you might have felt dissatisfied — ^peo-
ple usually do with me," he added impressive-
ly. "So if you would like to give me — "
She made a gesture. "That will do. I am
very busy this morning. The begging list,
though smaller than usual — only three hundred
and seventy-six letters — has to be attended to."
Thus the matter of Mr. Heatherbloom's
staying or going continued, much to that per-
son's discomfiture, in statu quo. It is true he
found, later, a compromising course; a way
out of the difficulty — ^as he thought, little know-
ing the extraordinary new web he was weav-
ing! — ^but before that time came, several things
56 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
happened. In the first place he discovered that
Miss Dalr3rmple was not entirely pleased at the
publication of the story of her engagement to
the prince ; her position — ^her family's and that
of Miss Van Rolsen, was such that newspaper
advertising or notoriety could not but be dis-
"I hope people won't think I keep a social
secretary," Mr. Heatherbloom heard her say.
Yes, heard her. He was in the dogs'
"boudoir"; the conservatory adjoined. He
could not help being where he was ; he belonged
there at the time. Nor could he help hearing;
he didn't try to listen ; he certainly didn't wish
to, though she had a very sweet voice — ^that
soothed one to a species of lotus dream — for-
getfulness of soap-suds, or the odor of canine
disinfectant permeating the white foam —
"Why should they think you have a social
secretary?" the voice of a man — ^the prince —
He had deep fine tones ; truly Russian tones,
with a subtle vibration in them.
"Because when such things are published
FATE AT THE DOOR 57
about people their secretaries usually put them
in," returned the girl.
He was silent a moment ; Mr. Heatherbloom
thought he heard the breaking of the stem of
"You were very much irritated — angry?"
observed the prince at length, quietly.
"Weren't you ?" she asked.
"I ? No. It is a bourgeois confession, per-
Mr. Heatherbloom sat up straighter; the
water dripped from his fingers.
"I was pleased," went on the sonorous low
voice. "I wished — it were so !"
There was a sudden movement in the con-
servatory; a rustling of leaves, or of a gown;
then — Mr. Heatherbloom relaxed in surprise —
a peal of merry laughter filled the air.
"How apropos! How well you said that!"
"Miss Dalrymple!" There was a slightly
rising inflection in the man's tones. "You
doubt my sincerity?"
"The sincerity of a Russian prince? No,
indeed!" she returned gaily.
58 A MAN AND HIS MCJNEY
**I am in earnest," he said simply..
**Don't be!" Mr. Heatherbloom could, in
fancy, see the flash of a white hand amid red
flowers; eyes dancing like violets in the wind.
He could perceive, also, as plainly as if he were
in that other room, the deep ardent eyes of
the prince downbent upon the blither ones,
the commanding figure of the man near that
other slender, almost illusive presence. A
flower to be grasped only by a bold wooer, like
the prince !
"Don't be," she repeated. **You are so much
more charming when you are not. I think I
heard that line in a play once. One of the
Robertson kind; it was given by a stock com-
pany in San Francisco. That's where I came
from, you know. Have you ever been
"No," said the prince slowly.
Dark eyes trying to beat down the merriment
in the blue ones ! Mr. Heatherbloom could, in
imagination, "fill in" all the stage details. If
It only were "stage" dialogue; "stage" talk;
not "playing with love", in earnest !
FATE AT THE DOOR 59
"Playing with love!" Jle had read a book
of that name once; somewhere. In Italy? —
yes. It sounded like an Italian title. Some-
thing very disagreeable happened to the hero-
ine. A woman, or a girl, can not lightly "play
with love" with a Sicilian. But, of course, the
prince wasn't a Sicilian.
"No," he was saying now with admirable
poise, in answer to her question, "I haven^t
visited your wonderful Golden Gate, but I
hope to go there some day — ^with you!" he
added. His words were simple; the accent
alone made them sound formidable; it seemed
to convey an impregnable purpose, one pot to
be shaken or disturbed.
Mr. Heatherbloom felt vaguely disturbed;
his heart pounded oddly. He half started to
get up, then sank back. He waited for another
peal of laughter; it didn't come. Why?
"Of course I should have no objection to
your being one of a train party," said Miss
Dalrymple at length.
"That isn't just what I mean," returned the
prince in his courtliest tones. But it wasn't
6o A MAN AND HIS MONEY
hard to picture him now with a glitter in his
gaze, — ^immovable, sure of himself.
There was a rather long pause ; broken once
more by Miss Dalrymple : "Shall we not re-
turn to the music room ?"
That interval? What had it meant? Mute
acquiescence on her part, a down-turning of
the imperious lashes before the steadfastness
of the other's look? — tacit assent? The cast-
ing off of barriers, the opening of the gates
of the divine inner citadel ? Mr. Heatherbloom
was on his feet now. He took a step toward
the door, but paused. Of course ! Something
clammy had fallen from his hand; lay damp
and dripping on the rug. He stared at it — ^a
bar of soap.
What had he been about to do — ^he! — to
step in there — into the conservatory, with his
bar of soap? — ^grotesque anomaly! His face
wore a strange expression; he was laughing
inwardly. Oh, how he was laughing at him-
self! Fortunately he had a saving sense of
What had next been said in the conserva-
FATE AT THE DOOR 6i
tory ? What was now being said there ? He
heard words but they had no meaning for him.
"I will send you the second volume of The
Fire and Sword trilogy," went on the prince.
"One of my ancestors figures in it. The
hero — who is not exactly a hero, perhaps,
in the heroine's mind, for a time— <ioes what
he must do; he has what he must have. He
claims what nature made for him; he knows
no other law than that of his imperishable
inner self. I, too, must rise to those heights
my eyes are set on. It must be ; it is written.
We are fatalists, we Russians near the Tartar
line ! And you and I" — fervently — "were pre-
destined for each other."
Mr. Heatherbloom had but dimly heard the
prince's words and failed to grasp them; he
didn't want to; his head was humming. Her
light answer sounded as if she might be very
happy. Yes; naturally. She was made to be
happy, to dance about like sunshine. He liked
to think of the picture. The prince, too, was
necessary to complete it; necessary, reaffirmed
Mr. Heatherbloom to himself, pulling with
62 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
damp fingers at the inconsequential lock of hair
over his brow. Of course, if the prince could
be eliminated from that mental picture of her
felicity? — ^but he was a part of the composi-
tion ; big, barbaric, romantic looking ! In fact,
it wouldn't have been an adequate composition
at all without him ; no, indeed !
And something rose in Mr. Heatherbloom's
throat; one of his eyes— or was it both of
them? — seemed a little misty. That con-
founded soap ! It was strong ; a bit of it in the
comer of the eyes made one blink.
The two in the conservatory said some-
thing more; but the young man in the
"boudoir" didn't catch it at all well. By some
intense mental process, or the sound of the
scrubber on the edge of the tub, he found he
could shut a definite cognizance of words al-
most entirely from his sense of hearing. The
prince's voice seemed slightly louder; that, in
a general way, was patent; no doubt the occa-
sion warranted more fervor on his part Mr.
Heatherbloom tried to imagine what she would
look like in — ^so to say, a very complaisant
FATE AT THE DOOR 63
mood; not with flaming glance full of aversion
Violet eyes replete only with love lights!
Mr. Heatherbloom bent lower over the tub ; his
four-footed charge Beauty, contentedly im-
mersed to the neck in nice comfortably warm
water, licked him. He did not feel the touch;
the fragrance of orchids seemed to come to
him above that other more healthful, less agree-
able odor of special cleansing preparation.
Her accents were heard once more. Those
final words sounded like a soft command.
Naturally! She could command the prince —
now! Mr. Heatherbloom heard a door close
— Si replica of the harsh click he had listened
to when she had shut the front door so un-
ceremoniously on him a short time before.
Then he heard nothing more. He gazed around
him as he sat with his hands tightly closed. Had
it been only a dream? Naughty whined; Sar-
danapolis edged toward him and mechanically
he began to brush him down until he shone as
sleek and shining as his Assyrian namesake.
MORE days passed and Mr. Heather-
bloom continued to linger in his last
position. It promised to be a record-making
situation from the standpoint of longevity; he
had never "lasted" at any one task so long be-
fore. Miss Van Rolsen, to his consternation,
seemed to unbend somewhat before him, as if
she were beginning — actually! — ^to be more
prepossessed in his favor. These evidences that
he was rising in the stem lady's good graces
filled Mr. Heatherbloom with new dismay ; des-
tiny certainly seemed to be making a mock of
A week went by; two weeks — ^three, and
still twice a day he continued to march to and
from the park with his charges. The faces
of all the nurse-maids and others who fre-
A CONTRETEMPS 65
quented the big parallelogram of green be-
came familiar to him; he learned to know by
sig^t the people who rode in the park and
had a distant acquaintance with the squirrels.
He became, for the first time, aware one day,
from the perusal of a certain newspaper he al-
ways purchased now, that the prince had re-
turned to Russia. Although Miss Dalrymple
refused to be interviewed, or to confirm or
deny any statement, it was generally under-
stood (convenient phrase!) that the wedding
would take place in the fall at the old Van Rol-
sen home. The prince had left America in his
yacht — ^the Nevski — for St. Petersburg, an-
nounced the society editor. After a special in-
terview with the czar and a few necessary
business arrangements, the nobleman would re-
turn at once for his bride. And, perhaps, he —
Mr. Heatherbloom — would still be at his post
of duty at the Van Rolsen house !
Since the day the prince had been with Miss
Dalrymple in the conservatory, Mr. Heather-
bloom had not seen, or rather heard, that gen-
tleman at the house. But then he — Mr.
66 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Heatherbloom — ^belonged in the rear, and, no
doubt, the prince had continued to be a daily,
or twice, or three-times-a-day visito** to Miss
Van Rolsen's elegant, if somewhat stiff, re-
ception rooms. Now, however, he would come
no more until he came finally to "t^ke with
him the bride — "
The thought was in Horatio's mind when
for a third time he encountered her, face to
face, on a landing, near a stair, or somewhere
in the house, he couldn't afterward just exact-
ly recall where, only that she looked through
him, without recognition, speech or movement
of an eyelash, as if he had been a thing of
thin air! But a thing that became suddenly im-
bued with real life ; inspired with purpose ! She
had permitted him to remain in the house,
knowing his professed helplessness in the mat-
ter — she must have divined that — ^playing with
him as a tigress with a victim (yes; a tigress!
Mr. Heatherbloom wildly, on the spur of the
moment, compared her in his mind to that
fierce beautiful creature). He would force her
to tell him to go ; she would certainly not suffer
A CONTRETEMPS (>7
him to remain there another day if he told
"Miss Dalrymple, there is something I ought
to say. I could not help overhearing you and
the prince, one day, several weeks ago, in the
After he said it, he asked himself what ex-
cuse he had for saying it. If he had stopped
to analyze the impulse, he would have seen how
absurd, unreasonable and uncalled for his
words were. But he had no time to analyze;
like a diver who plunges suddenly, on some
mad impulse, into a whirlpool, he had cast
himself into the vortex.
She looked at him and there was nothing in
nubibus to her about his presence now. The
violet eyes saw a substance — such as it was;
recognized a reality — of its kind ! Before the
clouds gathering in their depths, Mr. Heather-
bloom felt inclined to excuse himself and go
on; but instead, he waited. There was even
a furtive smile on his lips that belied a quick
throbbing in his breast ; he thrust one hand as
debonairly as possible into his trousers pocket
68 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
His attitude might have been interpreted to
express indifference, recklessness, or one or
more of the synonymous feelings. She thought
so badly of him already that she couldn't think
much worse, and —
"So," — ^had she been paler than her wont,
or had excess of passion sent the color from
her face? — "you are a spy as ,jjeUr
His head shot back a little at the accent on
the "well", but he thrust his hand yet deeper
into the pocket and strove not to lose that
assumed expression of ease.
"I — z spy ? I did not intend to— you — " He
paused; if he wished to set himself right in
her eyes, why should he have spoken at all?
Mr. Heatherbloom saw he had not quite argued
out this matter as he should have done; his
bearing became less assured.
"Is there" — her voice low and tense — ^"any-
thing despicable, mean, paltry enough that you
are not ?"
Mr. Heatherbloom moistened his lips; he
strove to think of a reply, sufficiently compre-
hensive to cover all the features of the case.
A CONTRETEMPS 69
but not finding one at once apologetic and yet
not so, remained silent He made, however,
a little gesture with his hand — ^the one that
wasn't in th^ pocket. That seemed to imply
something; he didn't quite know what
She came slightly closer and his heart began
to pound harder. A breath of perfume seemed
to ascend between them; the arrows in her
eyes darted into his. "How much — what
did you hear?" she demanded.
"I — ^am really not sure — " Was it the orchids
which perfumed the air? He had always heard
they were odorless. The question intruded;
his brain seemed capable of a dual capacity,
or of a general incapacity of simultaneous con-
siderations. He might possibly have stepped
back a little now but there was a wall, the
broad blank wall behind him. He wished he
were that void she had first seemed to see —
or not to see — in hini. 'T didn't hear very
much — the first p2irt, I imagine — "
"The first part?" Roses of anger burned
on her cheek. "And afterward? — spy!" Her
little hands were tight against her side.
70 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
He hesitated ; her foot moved ; all that was
passionate, vibrant in her nature seemed con-
centrated on him.
"I don't think I caught much; but I heard
him say something about fate, or destiny, and
men coming into their own — that old Greek
kind of talk, don't you know — " He spoke
lightly. Why not? There was no need of be-
ing melodramatic. What had to be must be.
He couldn't alter her, or what she would
think. "Then — then I was too busy to catch
more — ^that is, if I had wanted to — which I
didn't!" He was forced to add the last; it
burst from his lips with sudden passion; then
they curved a little as if to ask excuse for a
She continued to look at him, and he looked
at her now, squarely ; a strange calm descended
"And that," he said, "is all I heard, or knew,
until this morning, when I saw in the paper,"
dreamily, "he was coming back in the fall
The color concentrated with sudden swift
A CONTRETEMPS 71
brightness in her cheeks. "You saw that —
any one — every one saw — Oh — "
She started to speak further, then bit her lip,
while the lace stirred beneath the white throat.
Mr. Heatherbloom had not followed what she
said, was cognizant only of her anger. Her
eyes were fastened on something beyond him,
but returned soon, very soon.
"Oh,*' she said, "I might have known — if
I let you stay, through pity, you would — ^"
Tity!" said Mr. Heatherbloom.
^Because I did not want to turn you out
into the street — "
She spoke the words fiercely. Mr. Heather-
bloom seemed now quite impervious to stab
"I permitted you to remain for" — she
stopped — "remembering what you once were;
who your people were! What" — flinging the
words at him — "you might have been. In-
stead — of what you are!"
Mr. Heatherbloom gazed now without winc-
ing; an unnatural absence of feeling seemed
to have passed over his features, making them
^2 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
almost mask-like. It was as if he stood in
some new pellucid atmosphere of his own.
"Of course," he said, as half speaking to
himself, "I must have earned my salary, or
Miss Van Rolsen wouldn't have retained me.
So I am not a recipient of charity. Therefore,"
— did the word suggest far-away school-boy
lessons on syllogisms and sophistries — "I have
no right to feel offended in that you let me re-
main, you say, 'through pity', when as a mat-
ter of fact it was impossible for me to tender
my resignation, in view of — " He finished the
rest of a rather involved logical conclusion to
himself, taking his hand out of his pocket
now and passing it lightly, in a somewhat
dragging fashion, over his eyes. Then he
gazed momentarily beyond, as if he saw some-
thing appertaining to the "auld lang syne",
but recalled himself with a start to the beauti-
ful face, the threads of gold, the violet eyes.
"You will see to it now, of course" — ^his
manner became brisk, almost businesslike —
"that I, as a factor, am eliminated here ? That,
I may conclude, is your intention?"
A CONTRETEMPS 73
Tcrhaps," said the girl, a sibyl for intent-
ness now, "you would prefer to go? To be
asked to! You would find the streets"-^with
swift discerning contempt — "more profitable
for your purpose than here, where you are
"Perhaps," assented Mr. Heatherbloom.
He spoke quite airily ; then suddenly stiffened.
At his words, the sight of him as he uttered
them, she came abruptly yet nearer ; her breath
swept and seemed to scorch his cheek.
"I should think," she said, "you would be
ashamed to live!"
"Ashamed ?" he began ; then stopped. There
was no need of speaking further for she had
PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT
MR. HEATHERBLOOM drifted; not
"looking for a way", one was forced
upon him. It came to him unexpectedly;
chance served him. He would have thrust
it from him but could not. During his more
or less eccentric peregrinations in Central Park
he had formed visual acquaintances with sun-
dry folk; pictures of some of them were very
dimly impressed on his consciousness, others —
and the major part — on his subconsciousness.
Flat faces, big faces, red faces, pale faces!
One countenance in the last class made itself
a trifle more insistent than the others. Its
possessor had watched with interest his prog-
ress, interrupted with entanglements, and had
listened to the music of his march, the canine
fantasia, staccato, affettuoso! Mr. Heather-
PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT 75
bloom's halting footsteps in the park gener-
ally led him to the heights; it wasn't a very
high point, but it was the highest he could find,
and he could look off on something — a lake,
or reservoir of water, he didn't know just
which, and a jagged sky-line.
The person that exhibited casual curiosity
in his movements and his coming thither was
a woman. She seemed slight and sinuous, sit-
ting there against the stone parapet, and deep
dark eyes accentuated the pallor of her face.
He did not think it strange she should always
be at this spot when he came ; in fact, it was
quite a while before he noticed the almost daily
coincidence of their mutual presence at the
same place, at about the same time. After her
first half-sly, half-sedulous regard of him, she
would look away; her face then wore a soft
and melancholy expression; she appeared very
It took quite a while for this fact to be com-
municated to Mr. Heatherbloom. Though
she shifted her figure often, as if to call atten-
tion to the pale profile of her face against a
76 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
leaden sky, his thoughts remained introspect-
ive. Only the sky-line seemed to interest
him. But one day something white came danc-
ing in the breeze to his feet. Absorbed in
deep neutral tones afar, he did not see it ; his
four-footed charges, however, were quick to
perceive the object.
"Oh!" said the lady.
Mr. Heatherbloom looked. "Is — is it
yours ?" he asked.
"It — was," she remarked witl\ a slight ac-
cent on the last word.
He got up ; there seemed little use endeavor-
ing to rescue the handkerchief now.
"Fm afraid I've been rather slow," he re-
marked. "Quite stupid, Fm sure."
She may have had her own opinion but
maintained a discreet silence. Mr. Heather-
bloom stooped and gathered in the remnants.
"You will permit me," he observed, "to re-
place it, of course."
But it was not your fault."
It was that of my charges, then."
"No ; the wind. Let's blame it on the wind.'*
PLOT AND COUNTER.PLOT yy
She laughed, her dark eyes full on his, though
Mr. Heatherbloom seemed hardly to see them.
After that when they met on this little ele-
vation, she bowed to him and sometimes ven-
tured a remark or two. He did not seem
over-anxious to talk but he met her troubled
face with calm and unvarying, though some-
what absent-minded courtesy. He replied to
her questions perfunctorily, told her whom
he served, betraying, however, in turn, no
inquisitiveness concerning her. For him she
was just some one who came and went, and in-
cidentally interfered with his study of the sky-
By degrees she confided in him; as one so
alone she was glad of almost any one to confide
in. She wanted, indeed, needed badly, a situa-
tion as lady's maid or second maid. She had
tried and tried for a position; unfortimately
her recommendations were mostly foreign —
from Milan, Moscow, Paris. People either
scrutinized them suspiciously, or mon Dieu!
couldn't read them. It was hard on her; she
had had such a time 1 She, a Viennese, with all
78 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
her experience in France, Italy, Russia, found
herself at her wits' end in this golden America.
Wasn't it odd, tres drolef She had laughed
and laughed when she hadn't cried about it.
She had even tried singing in a little music-
hall, a horribly common place, but her voice
had failed her. Perhaps there was a vacancy
at Miss Van — what was her name? There
zvas a place vacant; the maid with the saucy
nose, Mr. Heatherbloom indifferently vouch-
safed, had just left to marry out of service.
'^ "How fortunate !" the fair questioner cried ;
then sighed. Miss Van Rolsen, being a maid-
en lady, would probably be most particular
about recommendations; that they should be of
the home-made, intelligible brand, from peo-
ple you could call up by telephone and interro-
gate. Had she been very particular in his case ?
Mr. Heatherbloom said "no" — not joyfully,
and explained. Though she drew words from
him, he talked to the sky-line. She listened;
seemed thinking deeply.
"You are not pleased to be there ?" Keenly.
"I?— Oh, of course!" Quickly.
PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT 79
She did not appear to note his changed man-
ner. "This Miss Van Rolsen, — isn't she the
one whose niece — Miss Elizabeth Dalrymple —
recently refused the hand and heart of a Rus-
sian prince?" she said musingly.
"Refused?" he cried suddenly. "You
mean — " He stopped ; the words had been sur-
prised from him.
"Accepted?" She looked at him closer.
"Of course; I remember now seeing it in the
paper; I was thinking of some one else. One
of the other lords, dukes, or noblemen the
town is so full of just now."
He got up rather suddenly, bowed and went.
With narrowing eyes she watched him walk
away, but when he had gone all melancholy
disappeared from her face; she stretched her-
self and laughed. ''Voila! Sonia Turgeinov,
Mr. Heatherbloom did not repair to the
point of elevation the next day, nor the day
after; but she met him the third day near tlte
Seventy-second Street entrance. More than
that, she insinuated herself at his side ; at first
8o A MAN AND HIS MONEY
rather to his discomfort Later he forgot the
constraint her presence occasioned him, when
something she said caused him to look upon
her with new favor. Beauty had momentarily
escaped his vigilance and enjoyed a mad romp
after a squirrel before she was captured.
What, his companion laughingly suggested,
would have happened if Beauty had really
escaped, and he, Mr. Heatherbloom, had been
forced to return to the house without her?
What ? Mr. Heatherbloom started. He might
lose his position, n'est-ce pas? He did not an-
The idea was bom; why not lose Beauty?
No, better still. Naughty; the prime favorite.
Naughty. He looked into Naughty's eyes, and
they seemed full of liquid reproach. Naughty
had been his friend — supposititiously, and to
abandon him now to the world, a cold place
devoid of French lamb chops? A hard place
for homeless dogs and men, alike ! About to
waive the temptation, Mr. Heatherbloom
paused; the idea was capable of modification
or expansion. Most ideas are.
PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT 8i
But he shortly afterward dismissed the en-
tire matter from his mind; it would, at best,
be but a compromise, an evasion of the pact he
had made with himself. It was not to be
thought of. At this moment his companion
swayed and Mr. Heatherbloom had just time
to put out his arm ; then helped her to a bench.
She partly recovered ; it was nothing, she re-
marked bravely. One gets sometimes a little
faint when — it was the old, old story of priva-
tion and want that now fell with seeming re-
luctance from her lips. Mr. Heatherbloom
had become all attention. More than that he
seemed greatly distressed. A woman actually
in need, starving — no use mincing words ! — in
Central Park, the playground of the most
opulent metropolis of the world. It was
monstrous; he tendered her his purse, with
several weeks' pay in it Her reply had a
spirited ring; he felt abashed and returned the
money to his pocket She sat back with eyes
half -closed; he saw now that her face looked
drawn and paler than usual.
He thought and thought; had he not him-
82 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
self found out how difficult it was to get a
position, to procure employment without
friends and helpers ? iEie, a man, had walked in
search of it, day after day and felt the griping
pangs of hunger; had wished for night, and,
later, wished for the mom, only to find both
Suddenly he spoke — ^slowly, like a man stat-
ing a proposition he has argued carefully in
his own mind. She listened, approved, while
hope already transfigured her face. She would
have thanked him profusely but he did not re-
main to hear her. In fact, he seemed hardly to
see her now; his features had become once
more reserved and introspective.
He reappeared at the Van Rolsen house that
day without Naughty. Miss Van Rolsen,
when she heard the news, burst into tears ; then
became furious. She was sure he had sold
Naughty, winner of three blue ribbons, and
"out of the contest" no end of times because
superior to all competition !
A broken leash ! Fiddlesticks ! She penned
advertisements wildly and summoned her niece.
PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT 83
That young lady responded to protestations
and questions with a slightly indifferent ex-
pression on her proud languid features. What
did she think of it? She didn't really know;
her manner said she really didn't care.
Mr. Heatherbloom, standing with the light
of the window falling pensively upon him, she
didn't seem to see at all ; he had once more be-
come a nullity. He rather preferred that role,
however; perhaps he felt it was easier to im-
personate annihilation, in the inception, than to
have it, or a wish for it, thrust later too
strongly upon him.
"I adhere to my opinion that he sold Naugh-
ty. I should never have employed this man,"
asserted Miss Van Rolsen, fastening her fiery
eyes on Mr. Heatherbloom. "Why don't you
speak, my dear, and give me your opinion?"
To her niece.
"I haven't any. Aunt
'You are discerning; you have judgment
Miss Van Rolsen spoke almost hysterically.
"Remember he" — ^pointing a finger — "came
without our knowing anything about him."
84 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Miss Dalrymple did not stir; a bunch of
bizarre-looking orchids on her gown moved to
her even rhythmical breathing. "What was
he? Who was he? Maybe, nothing more
than — " She paused for want of breath, not of
words, to characterize her opinion of Mr.
He readjusted his posture. - It was very
bright outdoors; people went by briskly, full
of life and importance; children whirled along
on roller skates.
"When I asked your opinion, my dear, as
to the wisdom of having employed this person
in the first place, luider the circumstances, why
did you keep silent?" Was Miss Van Rolsen
still talking, or rambling on to the impervious
beautiful girl? "You should have called me
foolish, eccentric; yes, that's what I was, to
have taken him in as I ^id.*'
Miss Dalrymple raised her brows and moved
to a piano to adjust the flowers in a vase ; she
smiled at them with soft enigmatic lips.
"If I may venture an opinion, Madam," ob-
served Mr. Heatherbloom in a far-away voice,
PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT 85
"I should say Naughty will surely return, or
"You venture an opinion!" said Miss Van
Miss Dairy mple breathed the fragrance of
the flowers; she apparently liked it.
"You are discharged!" said Miss Van Rol-
sen violently to Mr. Heatherbloom. "I give
you the two-weeks' notice agreed upon."
"m waive the notice," suggested the young
man at the window quickly.
"You'll do nothing of the sort." Sharply.
"It'll take me that time to find another in-
competent keeper for them. And, meanwhile,
you may be sure," grimly, "you will be very
"Under the circumstances, I should prefer —
since you have discharged me — ^to leave at
'Your preferences are a matter of utter in-
difference. You were employed with a definite
understanding in this regard."
Mr. Heatherbloom gazed rather wildly out
of the window ; two weeks — that much longer !
86 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
He was about to say he would not be well
watched; he would take himself off — ^that she
couldn't keep him ; but paused. A contract was
a contract, though orally made ; she could hold
him yet a little. But why did she wish to ? He
had not calculated upon this ; he tried to think
but could not. He looked from the elder to the
younger woman. The latter did not look at
Miss Dalrymple had seated herself at the
piano; her fingers — flight as spirit touches —
now swept the keys; a Debussey fantasy, al-
most as pianissimo as one could play it, vi-
brated around them. Outside the whir ! whir I
of the skates went on. A little girl tumbled.
Mr. Heatherbloom regarded her; ribbons awry;
fat legs in the air. The music continued
"You may go," said a severe voice.
He aroused himself to belated action, but at
the door he looked back. "I'm sure it will be
all right," he repeated to Miss Van Rolsen.
"On my word" — ^more impetuously.
At the piano some one laughed, and Mr.
PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT 87
"Why on earth, Aunt, did you want to keep
him two weeks longer?" he heard the girl's
now passionate tones ask as he walked away.
"For a number of reasons, my dear," came
the response. "One, because he wanted to
leave me in the lurch. Another — it will be
easier to keep an eye on him until Naughty is
returned, or" — ^her voice had the vindictive
ring of a Roman matron's — "this person's
culpability is proven. Naughty is a valuable
dog and — "
Mr. Heatherbloom's footsteps hastened; he
had caught quite enough, but as he disappeared
to the rear, the dream chords on the piano,
now louder, continued to follow him.
THAT night, as if his rest were not al-
ready sufficiently disturbed, a disconcert-
ing possibility occurred abruptly to Mr. Heath-
erbloom. It was born in the darkness of the
hour; he could not dispel it. What if the per-
son in whom he had confided in the park were
not all she seemed? He hated the insinuating
suggestion but it insisted on creeping into his
brain. He had once, not so long ago, in his
search for cheap lodgings, stumbled upon a
roomful of alleged cripples and maimed dis-
reputables who made mendicancy a profession ;
their jibes and jests on the credulity of the
public yet rang in his ears. What if she — his
casual acquaintance of the day before — ^be-
longed to that yet greater class of dissemblers
who ply their arts and simulations wjth more
individualism and intelligence?
Mr. Heatherbloom sat up in bed. Naughty
might be worth five or even ten thousand
dollars. He remembered having read at some
previous time about a certain canine whose
proud mistress and owner was alleged to have
refused twenty thousand for him. The per-
spiration broke out on Mr. Heatherbloom's
face. Was Naughty of this category? He
looked very "classy," as if there couldn't be
another beast quite like him in the world.
What had been the twenty-thousand-dollar
mistress' name; not Van — impossible!
But the more he told himself "impossible",
the more positive grew a certain perverse inner
asseveration that it was quite possible. And
what if the person in the park had known it?
He reviewed the circumstances of their differ-
ent meetings; details that had not impressed
themselves upon him at the time — ^that had al-
most escaped his notice, now stood out clearer
■ — ^too clear, in his mind. He remembered how
she had brightened astonishingly after the brief
fainting spell when he had made his ill-advised
proposal. It had been as elixir to her. He re-
90 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
called how she had met him every day. Had
it been mere chance? Or— disconcerting sus^
picion ! — had she deliberately planned — '
For Mr. Heatherbloom there was no sleep
that night. At the first signs of dawn he was
up and out, directing his steps toward the park,
as a criminal returns to the haunts of his crime.
No faces of any kind now greeted him there ;
only trees confronted him, gaunt, ghostlike in
the early morning mists. Even the squirrels
were yet abed in their miniature Swiss chalets
in the air. The sun rose at last, red and
threatening. He now met a policeman who
looked at him questioningly. Mr. Heather-
bloom greeted him with a blitheness at variance
with his mood. Officialdom only growled and
gazed after the young man as if to say : "We'll
gather you in, yet."
It was past nine o'clock before Mr. Heather-
bloom ventured to approach the house; as he
did so, the front door closed; some one had
been admitted. He himself went in through
the area way; from above came joyous barks,
a woman's voice ; pandemonium. Mr. Heather-
bloom listened. Later he learned what had
happened; a young woman had brought back
Naughty ; a very honest young woman who re-
fused all reward.
"Sure," said the cook, who had the story
from the butler, "and she spoke loike a quane.
'I can take nothing for returning what doesn't
belong to me, ma'am. I am but doing my
jooty. But if ye plaze, would ye be lookin'
over these recommends av mine — ^they're from
furriners — and if yez be havin' ony friends
who be wanting a maid and yez might be so
good as to recommind me, I'd be thankin' of
yez, for it's wurrk I wants.' Think av that
now. Only wurrk 1 Who says there am't
honest servin' gurrls, nowadays? The mis-
tress was that pleased with her morals an' her
manners — so loidy-loike! — she gave her the
job that shlip av a Jane had ; wid an advance
av salary on the sphoL"
"You mean Miss Van Rolsen has actually
engaged her?" Mr. Heatherbloom, face abeam,
"Phawt have I been saying just now?"
92 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Scornfully. "Sure, an' is it ears you have on
your head ?"
Mr. Heatherbloom, a weight lifted from his
shoulders, departed from the kitchen. He had
wronged her — this poor girl, or young woman,
who, in her dire distress, had appealed to him.
How he despised now the uncharitable dark
thoughts of the night ! How he could congrat-
ulate himself he had obeyed impulse, and not
stopped to reason too closely, or to question*
too suspiciously, when he had decided to act
the day before !
All is well that ends well. All he had to
do now was to complete as unostentatiously as
possible his term of service — But perhaps he
would be released at once ?
No; not at once! Those anxious to super-
sede him began to dribble in, it is true; but
they faded away, one by one, after interviews
with Miss Van Rolsen, and returned no more.
They were a mournful lot, these would-be,
ten-doUar-a-week custodians ; Mr. Heather-
bloom wondered if his own physiognomy in
a general way would merge nicely in a com-
posite photograph of them ?
His duties he performed now as quietly as
he could. Two weeks more, ten days, nine,
eight! Then? Ah, then!
He did not see Miss Van Rolsen again nor
Miss Dalrymple. He encountered the fair un-
known, though, his acquaintance of the park,
occasionally, as she in demure cap and white
ruffled apron glided softly her allotted way.
Sometimes he nodded to her in distant fashion,
sometimes she got by before he actually real-
ized he had passed her. She seemed to move
so quickly and with such little ado; or, it may
be, he was not very observant He didn't feel
very keen on mere minor details these days;
he experienced principally the sensation of one
who was now merely "marking time", as it
were — ^figuratively performing a variety of
goose-step, the way the German soldiers do.
But one day she — Marie, they called her —
**I understand from one of the servants that
94 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
it cost ypu your position to— do what you did.
You know what I mean — "
He looked alarmed. "Don't worry about
"But shouldn't I?" Steady dark eyes upon
"On the contrary !" Vigorously.
"I don't understand — ^unless — "
"The salary — it is nothing here" — Mr.
Heatherbloom gestured airily. "I should do
much better—one of my ability, you under-
stand !— elsewhere."
"Could you?" She regarded him doubt-
fully. "But, perhaps, they — It was not very
pleasant for you here, anyway. Miss Van Rol-
sen — ^her niece, Miss Dalrymple— does not like
you." He started. "It was easy to see that ;
when I mentioned regretfully that the good
fortune that brought me where there is plenty
to eat should have been the cause of your being
in disfavor, she stopped me short." Mr. Heath-
erbloom studied the distance. " The person
you speak of intended leaving anyhow,* she
said, and her voice was — mon Dieu! — ice."
The listener swallowed. "Quite so," he said
jauntily. "Miss Dalrymple is absolutely cor-
She regarded him an instant with sudden,
very mature gaze. "I can't quite make you
"No one ever can. Don't try. It isn't worth
while. Which reminds me" — he rattled on —
"I did you an injury; an injustice — "
'Ah?" she said quickly.
In my mind ! You will excuse me, but do
you know that night after I had consigned him
to your care in the park, I afterward felt quite
anxious — "
"For what ?" She came closer.
"Wondering if you — Ha ! ha !" Mr. Heath-
erbloom stopped; in his confusion, his en-
deavor to turn the conversation from himself
and Miss Dalrymple, he seemed to be getting
into deep waters.
"You wondered what ?" In a low tone.
Since he now felt obliged to speak, he did,
coolly enough. "If you had some ulterior mo-
tive !" he said with a quiet smile.
96 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
She it was who now started back, and her
face paled slightly. **Why ? — ^what ulterior mo-
tive ? What do you mean ?"
He told her in plain words. She breathed
more evenly; then smiled sweetly. She had
a strange face sometimes. "Thank you/' she
said. "You are very frank, mon ami. I like
you none the less for it Though you did so
injure me — in your thoughts !" Her eyes had
an enigmatic light. "Well, I must go now to
Miss Dalrymple. She is beginning to be so
fond of me." She drawled the last words as
if she liked to linger on them. "You see I,
too, have a little Russian blood in me." Mr.
Heatherbloom looked down. "And I think
she loves to hear me tell of that wonderful
country — the white nights of St. Petersburg —
the splendid steppes — the grandeur of our
Venice of the north. Of course, she is im-
mensely interested in Russia now." Signifi-
cantly. "Its ostentation, its splendor, its bar-
baric picturesqueness ! But tell me, what is her
prince like? He is very handsome, naturally!
Or she would not so dote on him!"
Mr. Heatherbloom's features had hardened ;
he did not answer directly. "She likes to talk
about Russia ?" he said, half to himself.
Marie shrugged. "Is it not to be her coimtry
"No, it isn't I" The words seemed forced
from his lips ; he spoke almost fiercely. "She
may live there with him, but it will never be
her country. This is her country. She is its
product; an American to her finger-tips. And
all the grand dukes and princes of the Winter
Palace can't change her. She belongs to old
California; she grew up among the orange
trees and the flowers, and her heart will ever
yearn for them in your frozen land of
"Oh! oh! oh!" said Mademoiselle Marie.
"How eloquent monsieur can be! Quite an
orator ! One would say he, too, has known this
land of orange trees and flowers!"
"I?" Mr. Heatherbloom bit his lip.
But she only shook a finger. "Oh ! oh !" Al-
together like a different person from his casual
acquaintance of the park! He gazed at her
98 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
closer; how quickly the marks of trouble, anx-
iety, had faded from her face; as if they had
"What do you mean ?" he asked, looking in-
to eyes now full of a new and peculiar under-
"Nothing," she said and vanished.
He gazed where she had been ; he could not
account for a sudden strange emotion, as if
some one had trailed a shadow over him. A
premonition of something going to happen;
that could not be foreseen, or averted ! Some-
thing worse than anything that had gone be-
fore! What nonsense! He pressed his lips
tightly and went about his duties like an au-
Eight days — seven days — six days morel —
THE blow fell, a thunderbolt from the
clear sky. It dazed certain people at first ;
It was difficult to realize what had happened, or
if anything had really happened. For might
not what seemed a deep and dire mystery turn
out to be nothing so very mysterious after all?
A message would soon come ; everything would
then be "cleared up" and those most concerned
would laugh at their apprehensions. But the
hours went by, and the affair remained inexpli-
cable ; no word was heard concerning Miss Dal-
rymple's whereabouts ; she seemed to have dis-
appeared as completely as if she had vanished
on the Persian magic carpet. What could it
mean ? The circumstances briefly were :
Miss Dalrymple, four or five days before
Mr. Heatherbloom's term of service came to an
100 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
end, had expressed a desire to revisit her old
home and friends in the West. One of a party
made up mostly of other Calif omians — ^now
residents of New York city — ^the girl had
failed to appear on the private car at the ap-
pointed time, and the train had pulled out, leav-
ing her behind. At the first important stop a
telegram had been handed to a gentleman of
the party from Miss Dalrymple; it expressed
her regret at having reached the station too
late owing to circumstances she would explain
later, and announced her intention of coming
on, with her maid, in a few days. They were
not to wait anjrwhere for her but to go right
The party did ; it was sorry to have lost one
of Its most popular members but no one
thought anything more of the matter until at
Denver, after a telegram had been forwarded
to the Van Rolsen house, in New York, asking
just when Miss Dalrymple would arrive, as
camping preparations for a joyous pilgrimage
in the mountains were in progress.
Miss Van Rolsen gasped when this message
THE UNEXPECTED lOi
reached her. Miss Dalrymple and her maid —
a young woman newly engaged by Miss Van
Rolsen — ^had left the house for the train to
which the private car was attached; neither
had been heard from since. The aunt had, of
course, presumed her niece had gone as
planned; she had received no word from her,
but supposing she was of a light-hearted, heed-
less company thought nothing of that. It was
possible Miss Dalrymple had actually missed
her train; but if so, why had she not returned
to her aunt's house ?
Where had she gone? What had become of
her? No trace of her could be found. Certain
forces in the central railroad office at New
York could not discover any evidence that the
yotmg girl had taken a subsequent train. There
was no record of her name at any ticket office ;
no state-room had been reserved by, or for her ;
in fact, telegrams to officials in Chicago and
other points west failed to elicit satisfactory
information of any kind.
Miss Van Rolsen found herself with some-
thing real to worry about ; she rose to the oc-
102 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
casion ; her niece, after all, was everything to
her. The Van Rolsen millions were ultimately
for her, and the old lady's every ambition was
centered in the girl. She had been proud of
her beauty, her social triumphs.
With great determination she set herself to
solve the puzzling problem. Could people thus
completely disappear nowadays? It seemed
impossible, she asserted, sitting behind closed
doors in her library, to the private agent of the
secret-service bureau whom she had just "called
He begged to differ from her and pointed to
a number of cases which had seemed just as
strange and mysterious in the beginning. Ran-
som — ^the "Black Hand" — Who could say
what secret influences had been at work in this
case ? It was a very important one ; Miss Dal-
rymple had money of her own ; she was known
to be her aunt's heiress. The conclusion? —
But this was not Morocco, or Turkey, Miss
Van Rolsen somewhat vehemently returned.
True ; we have had, however, our "civilized**
Ransuilis, answered the agent and mentioned
THE UNEXPECTED 103
a number of names in support of his theory.
No doubt, after an interval. Miss Van Rolsen
would have news of her niece — ^through those
who had perpetrated the outrage ; or she might
even receive a few written words from the girl
herself. After that it was a question of nego-
tiating, or, while professing to deal with the
perpetrators,, to ferret them out if one could.
The latter course was dangerous, for those
who stoop to this particular crime are usually
of a desperate type ; he and Miss Van Rolsen
could consider that question later. Meanwhile
she must avoid worry as much as possible. The
young girl would, no doubt, be well treated.
Had the speaker looked around at this mo-
ment, he might have observed that the heavy
curtains, drawn before the door leading into
the hall and closed by Miss Van Rolsen, moved
suddenly, but neither the agent nor Miss Van
Rolsen, engrossed at the far end of the room,
noticed. The drapery wavered a moment ; then
settled once more into its folds.
The telegram purporting to be from Miss
Dalrymple to one of the party on the tra^n.
104 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
could — ^the agent went on— very easily have
been sent by some one else ; no doubt, had been.
The miscreants had seized upon a lucky com-
bination of circumstances; for two or three
days, while Miss Dalrymple was supposed to
be speeding across the continent, they, unsus-
pected and unmolested, would be afforded
every opportunity to convey her to some re-
mote and, for them, safe refuge. It was a
cleverly planned coup, and could not have been
conceived and consummated without — ^here
he spoke slowly — inside assistance.
The curtain at the doorway again stirred.
"And now, Madam, we come to your ser-
vants," said the police agent. *T should like to
know something about them."
"My servants, sir, are, for the most part, old
" Tor the most part' !" He caught at the
phrase. "We will deal first with those who do
not come in that category."
"There's a young man recently employed
that I have not been at all pleased with. He
THE UNEXPECTED 105
*'Ah!" said the visitor. "Not the person I
met going out af the area way with the dogs
as I came in ?"
She answered affirmatively.
"H— mnl" He paused. "But tell me why
you have not been pleased with him, and, in
brief, all the drctunstances of his coming
Miss Van Rolsen did so in a voice she strove
to make patient although she could not dis-
guise its tremulousness, or the feverish anxiety
that consumed her. She related the most triv-
ial details, seeming irrelevances, but the vis-
itor did not interrupt her. Instead, he studied
carefully her face, pinched and worn; the
angular figure, slightly bent ; the fingers, nerv-
ously clasping and unclasping as she spoke. He
watched her through habit; and still forbore
speaking, even when she referred to the escape
of her canine favorite from his caretaker and
how the dog had later been returned, though
the listener's eyes had, at this point, dilated
**After his carelessness in this matter, he
io6 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
seemed to want to get away from the house at
once," observed Miss Van Rolsen, "without
availing himself of the two- weeks' notice I had
agreed to give him."
The visitor relapsed into his chair; an iron-
ical light appeared in his eyes.
"Perhaps," added Miss Van Rolsen, "you
attach no significance to the fact ?"
"On the contrary, I attach every importance
to it. Has it not occurred to you there was a
little collusion in this matter of the lost dog?"
"Collusion?" Miss Van Rolsen's accents
expressed incredulity. "You must be wrong.
Why, the young woman wouldn't even accept
the reward. And it was not a small one !"
"Two hundred or so dollars, ma'am! Not
her stake!" he murmured satirically. "I am
afraid two hundred thousand dollars would be
nearer the mark these people have set for them-
"But she didn't ask for a place here ; only for
me to look over her references — one was from
a lady I knew in Paris — ^and to recommend
her to my friends — "
THE UNEXPECTED 107
"She knew your other maid had left; this
confederate had, of course, told her. It was
all arranged that she should come here. Rest
assured of that. And having accomplished her
purpose — clever that she is! — she at once
started to ingratiate herself with your niece,
to make herself useful. As a mistress of lan-
guages she was useful, in fact more so than
any ordinary maid. Where did she come
from? Find out whom she represents, and —
we'll have the key to the mystery. But she,
too, has disappeared; after turning the game
over to the others, perhaps. I would suggest
cabling those foreign references this young
woman gave you. They will, of course, in-
cluding your Paris friend, know nothing of
her; the name she gave you was not her own."
"But by what unfortunate combination of
circumstances" — Miss Van Rolsen spoke some-
what incoherently — "should these people have
been led to settle on my niece as the victim of
their cowardly designs? There are so many
"You forget the publicity concerning this
io8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
prince your niece is to marry." The old lady
stiffened. "Pardon my mentioning it, but Miss
Dalrymple has in this connection been very
much before the public gaze."
"Against her .wish, sir, and mine!" snapped
Miss Van Rolsen. "She — I — ^have both la-
mented the fact. But what can one do ? The
journalists settled on the prince as a fruitful
source for speculation. He is of noble family,
very wealthy, no fortune-hunter; which has
made it all the more distressing for him and
us." She seemed about to say something fur-
ther; then her lips suddenly tightened. "As
I say, it has been very distressing," she ended,
after a pause. "I expect it was one of the rea-
sons my niece wanted to get away from New
York for a time."
"No doubt!" The caller's voice was cour-
tesy itself although he probably but half-cred-
ited Miss Van Rolsen's protestations in the
matter. People liked to complain of the press
and newspaper notoriety, when in their hearts,
perhaps, they were not so displeased to be in
that terrible lime-light; especially when the
THE UNEXPECTED 109
person associated with them happened to be a
count, or a duke, or a prince. "Unfortunately,
one has to put up with these things," he now
added. "But you are positive you have tpld
An instant she seemed to hesitate. "I am
positive you know everything relative to the
He arose. "In that event" — his manner in-
dicated a sudden resolution — "there is one lit-
tle preliminary to be attended to."
"To arrest this fellow, Heatherbloom 1"
"At once ! There is no time to be lost. Al-
ready — " He gave a sudden exclamation*
^What is it?" she asked.
He stepped toward the curtain; it moved
"Some one has been listening," exclaimed
Miss Van Rolsen excitedly.
"Yes, some one." Significantly. As he
spoke he threw back the curtain and revealed
the door partly ajar.
no A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"It must have been — Not one of my old
servants — They would not have — "
He stopped her. 'There's the front way out
of this house and the area way below," he said
rapidly. "Is there any other way of escaping
to the street ?"
He darted out of the room to the front door.
"Quite in time !" he said, casting a quick look
both ways along the avenue and then letting
his glance fall to the servants' entrance below.
"You think he will try to — "
He regarded her swiftly. "While I stand
guard here, would you mind getting some one
to 'phone my office and ask two or three of my
men to step over at once? Not that I doubt my
own ability to cope with the case" — ^fingering
the handle of a weppon on his pocket — "only
it is always well to take no chances. Espe-
cially now !"
"Since he has practically convicted himself
and confirmed my theory. We shall get at the
THE UNEXPECTED in
truth through him. We're nearer the solution
of the matter than I dared hope for."
"I'll telephone myself!" she cried. And
started back to do so when an excited face con-
"If ye plase, ma'am!" It was the cook.
"What is it?" Miss Van Rolsen spoke
"If ye plase, I think, ma'am, this Mr. Heath-
erbloom has taken lave av his senses."
'Why, what has he been doing?"
'He has, faith, just jumped over the fence
into our neighbor's yard on the corner, and — "
The man on the steps did not wait to hear
more ; with something that sounded like an im-
precation he sprang quickly down to the side-
walk and ran toward the comer.
WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS
AS Mr. Heatherbloom prepared to issue
l\ from his neighbor's gate opening on
the side street, the feminine voice of one of
the servants in the rear of the comer house
called out in alarm at sight of the strange fig-
ure speeding across their metropolitan imita-
tion of a back yard. If anything were needed
to stimulate the fugitive's footsteps, it was the
sound of that voice. He stayed not on the or-
der of his going, but pushing back the heavy
bolt — fortunately his egress was not barred by
a locked door — ^he' tore open the gate and
sprang to the sidewalk. Then without stopping,
he ran on, away from the fashionable avenue.
The street he traversed like many thorough-
fares of its kind was comparatively deserted
most of the time ; nobody impeded his progress,
WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS 113
though one or two people gazed after him from
He had gone about three-quarters of a block
when the window spectators discerned a heav-
ier built figure come lumbering around the cor-
ner, apparently in hot pursuit. Mr. Heather-
bloom, glancing over his shoulder, also ob-
served ^his person ; his capture and subsequent
incarceration seemed inevitable. Already the
fugitive was drawing near to busier Fourth
Avenue ; there he would be obliged to relax his
pace ; he could not sprint down that thorough-
fare without attracting undue attention. Be-
hind, the pursuer called out ; he was, however,
too short of breath for compelling vocal effect.
Mr. Heatherbloom, on the contrary, had
good control of his breathing and was, more-
over, yet fresh and physically capable. Which
fact made it the more difficult for him to settle
down to a forced, albeit sharp walk as he ap-
proached the comer, when his gait suddenly
accelerated once more.
A street-car had just started not very far
from him and Mr. Heatherbloom ran after it
114 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
A fine pretext for speed was offered him; as
he "let himself go'' in the way he had once
gone somewhere in the past in a hundred-
yards' dash, he felt joyously conscious both of
covering space quickly and that he did so with-
out making himself particularly prominent.
Fools who ran after street-cars were born
every moment; he was happy to be relegated
to that idiotic class by any onlookers. He
caught the car while it was going; he didn't
want it to stop for him.
Neither did it stop to pick up any one else
for several blocks; there was a space before it
unobstructed by traffic. The motorman turned
on more power and Mr. Heatherbloom listened
gratefully to the humming wheels. At the
same time he looked back ; at the corner where
he had turned into Fourth avenue he fancied a
number of people were gathering. He could
surmise the cause; the stockily-built man — his
pursuer — was asking questions ; he !iad learned
what had become of the fugitive and was pre-
sumably looking around for a "taxi." In vain.
At least, Mr. Heatherbloom so concluded, be-
WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS 115
cause one did not appear in hot chase behind
The motorman still gave "rapid service";
the conductor looked at his watch, by which
Mr. Heatherbloom imagined they had time to
make up. He hoped so, then resented a pause
at a corner for an old lady. How he wished she
had not been afflicted with rheumatism, and
could have got on without help ! But at length
the light-weight conductor did manage to pull
the heavy-weight passenger aboard. Time lost,
thirty seconds! The motorman manipulated
the lever more deliberately now and they gath-
ered headway slowly. Mr. Heatherbloom
dared not remain longer where he was ; as the
car approached a comer near an elevated sta-
tion, he got off. He was obliged to walk now
a short distance but he did so hastily. Draw-
ing near the iron steps, leading upward, he
once more looked back; a "taxi" was whirling
after him and he had no doubt as to its occu-
pant The street-car could easily have been
Icept in sight and his leaving it been noted.
Mr. Heatherbloom now threw discretion to
ii6 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
the winds; dashing toward the stairway he
ran up. Juat as he reached the ticket window,
the pursuing vehicle stopped below. Some
one sprang out, did not pause to pay the chauf-
feur, but calling out to him his name, started
after Mr. Heatherbloom. That gentleman had
by this time boarded the train waiting above;
he stood on the rear platform. Any moment
the pursuer would appear. He did appear as
the gates of the train were closed and the cars
had started on their way.
Yet he did not give up for running alongside
the last car he called out to the guard :
"Fugitive from justice! Criminal — on this
train ! Open the gate for me !'*
An instant the guard hesitated; rules, how-
ever, were rules.
"Five hundred dollars if you let me onl"
the voice panted.
The guard in his own mind decided he would
let the other on — ^too late ; the last car dashed
past the end of the platform. A faint sigh of
relief from Mr. Heatherbloom was drowned in
the timiult of the wheels ; then he endeavored
WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS 117
to appear indifferent, apathetic. It was not
easy to do so ; the secret-service agent had been
heard by many others.
A "fugitive from justice" on the train! Mr.
Heatherbloom tried to look as little the part as
possible, to simulate by his expression a pre-
occupied young business man of heavy respon-
sibilities. Fortunately the train was crowded;
nevertheless he fancied people glanced espe-
cially at him. He wished now he were better
dressed ; good clothes may cover a multitude of
sins. Still there was no reason why he should
be suspected more than sundry other indiffer-
ently-dressed people. He would dismiss the
thought, tell himself he was going down town
on some little errand; he even devised what
that errand should be — ^to procure theater tick-
ets. But his brain did not seem quite capable
of concentrating itself solely on desirable or-
chestra chairs ; it constantly and perversely re-
verted to that other disagreeable subject — ^a
."fugitive from — "
Whoever could the fellow be? He endeav-
ored by a mental process to eliminate himself
ii8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
and see but a mythical some one else in a myth-
ical background. A short person; a tall one?
What kind of person would the imaginary in-
dividual be, anyhow ? And what had he done,
what crime committed? Mr. Heatherbloom
tried to think with the minds of all these other
people on the train, to put himself figuratively
in their shoes.
One young sprig of a girl, about fourteen,
with sallow complexion and bead-like black
eyes, kept regarding him. He conceived a pro-
found dislike for her, shifted a foot; then
straightened and banished her peremptorily
from his environment. His principal interest
lay now in casual glimpses of windows and
speculation as to what was behind them. He
varied this employment in a passing endeavor
to decipher sundry signs that obtruded inci-
dentally within range of vision.
He had made out only a few when the train
slackened and came to a standstill. Mr.
Heatherbloom told himself he would get off
as quickly as possible; then changed his mind
and remained. People would, of course, argue
WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS 119
that, under the circumstances, the unknown
criminal would be among those to leave the
train at the first opportunity.
A number got out; Mr. Ileatlierbloom noted
the passengers who remained aboard and
watched closely the departing ones. A few of
the latter seemed slightly self-conscious, nota-
bly, an elderly spinster who, having never done
anything wrong, was possessed of an unusual
"See that slouchy chap — By jove, I be-
'Does look like a tough customer — "
'On the contrary, he just looks poor." Mr.
Heatherbloom turned upon the two speakers
Why could he not have kept silent ; why was
he obliged to obtrude his opinion into their
They stared and he half turned as the train
banged itself along once more. Where should
he go? Reaching for a paper that some one
had discarded, he sank into a vacant seat and
opened the sheet with misgiving.
120 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
What would the big types say? Nothing!
Miss Van Rolsen had managed to keep the
strange affair of her niece's disappearance out
of the columns of the papers. They knew
nothing about it as yet — Only a single little
item in the shipping news, in fine print, which
suddenly caught his gaze bore in any way, and
that a remote one, upon her niece and her af-
fairs. Mr. Heatherbloom regarded it with
dull glance. The few lines meant nothing to
him — ^then ; later he had cause to turn to them
with abrupt wondering avidity. Now his eyes
swept with simulated interest the general news
of the day; he professed to read cable dis-
But an odd reaction seemed to have settled
on him; the excitement of the chase became,
for the moment, forgotten. The scope of his
mental visuality no longer included the figure
of the agent from the private detective bureau.
An anxiety more poignant moved him; his
thoughts centered on that other matter — ^the
cause of Miss Van Rolsen's apprehensions —
the while those emoticms that had held him a
WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS 121
listener behind the curtain in her library again
stirred in his breast. He had not played the
eavesdropper for any selfish purpose or
through a sense of personal aiq)rehension. The
sudden realization of his own danger, had,
perforce, awakened in him the need for quick
action if he would save himself.
If? What chance, had he? But for one
compelling reason, one consuming purpose, he
would not have fled at all ; he would have faced
them, instead! But he had work to do —
he! A fugitive, a logical candidate for the
prison cell! Ironical situation! Even now he
heard a voice at his elbow.
"Mr. Heatherbloom !" Some one spoke sud-
denly to him and he wheeled with abrupt swift
"Well, are you going to eat me up?" the
He looked into the pert face of Jane — ^the
maid with the provoking nose — ^who had been
at Miss Van Rolsen's. She had got on at the
other end of the car at the last station, and
^xr waiting a few moments for him to see
122 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
her, had moved toward him, or a seat at his
side just then vacated by some one preparing
to leave. Mr. Heatherbloom's face cleared ; he
banished the belligerent expression.
"You look edible enough!" he said with
"Indeed?" she retorted, surprised at such
gallantry from one who had heretofore not
deigned to pay her compliments. "Fll have to
tell my husband about you." Playfully. "But
how are things at Miss Van Rolsen's? Any-
thing new ?"
Mr. Heatherbloom murmured something
about the customary routine; then, even as he
spoke, became conscious of a sudden new dis-
concerting circumstance. The tracks for the
up and the down trains on the elevated had
widely separated and ran now on the extreme
sides of the broad thoroughfare. From his
side of the car the young man was afforded a
view of the pavement below, between the two
sustaining iron structures. A chill shot through
him and his smile became set. Gazing down he
WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS 123
discerned, on the street beneath and a little to
one side of them, a motor-car, speeding fast,
apparently bent on keeping up with them.
"How — ^how's your husband ?" he said irrel-
evantly. The car was keeping up with them.
"Very v/ell, thank you." (Would it reach
the next station before them?)
"You— you have a pleasant home?" he
asked. (A slight blockade below impeded, mo-
mentarily, the "taxi". Mr. Heatherbloom
raised his handkerchief to his moist brow.)
"Lovely," she answered. "Are you going
"Brooklyn," he said at random. What were
they talking about? (The car was once more
under way; fortunately their progress over-
head would not be impeded by a press of ve-
"That's where we live — Brooklyn," she said.
"Is it ? Got a nice house ?" He had practi-
cally asked this question before ; but he hardly
knew what •he was saying. A policeman had
stopped the "taxi" and was shaking his head,
as at a rather "fishy" story. Mr. Heather-
124 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
bloom by a species of telepathy, seemed to
overhear the excited talk waging below.
"Oh, yes ; lovely !" Jane's accents were but
parenthetical to something else. The "taxi"
had been allowed to proceed, in spite of the de-
taining thought-waves Mr. Heatherbloom had
launched toward the officer of the law. The
occupant had probably showed a badge; Mr.
Heatherbloom stretched his neck out of the
"You can come around and see. sometime,
if you want to." Pride in her voice. "And
meet my husband." Husband was a very sub-
"Charmed, Fm sure! Ha! ha!" He sud-
"What is it?" She looked startled.
"Funniest accident !" He waved his hat, as
at some one, out of the window. "See that
taxi ! Bumped into a dray. Ha ! ha !"
"I don't see anything so funny in that."
"No ? You should have seen the expression
on his face — *'
WHO FIGHTS ANN RUNS 125
"The — ^ah, drayman's, of course! He-
looked so mad."
"I should have thought," she observed, "the
man in the car would have been the maddest.
It couldn't have hurt the dray much."
"No? Perhaps that's what made it seem so
funny to me."
"Well," she said, "I never noticed before
that you had a great sense of humor."
"You never knew me." Jauntily.
They got off at Brooklyn Bridge together.
As they made their way through the crowd,
Mr. Heatherbloom appeared most care-free
and very sedulous of his companion's welfare,
especially when they passed one or two loiter-
ers who seemed eying the passengers rather
"Two for Brooklyn." Mr. Heatherbloom
laid do^n a dime at the ticket office.
Soon, unmolested, he sped on once more;
but as they crossed the busy river all his light-
heartedness seemed suddenly to desert him;
the questions he had been vainly asking himself
126 A MAN Ajfc HIS MONEY
earlier that day were reiterated in his brain.
Where was she? What had become of her?
His hands clasped closely. A red spot burned
on his cheek.
A NEW-FOUND THEORY
NO; the prince isn't coming back to
America, and she — Miss Dalrymple —
isn't going to marry him !'*
Jane's voice, running on rather at random,
suddenly with unusual force penetrated Mr.
"Not going — isn't — What are you talking
about?" The young man's wavering atten-
tion focused itself on her now with swift com-
pleteness. He had hardly heard her, until a
few moments before, when her conversation
had first drifted to that ever fascinating fem-
inine topic of foreign lords and American heir-
esses, then narrowed down, much to his inward
disapproval, to one particular titled individual
and one particular heiress. "But you are mis-
taken, of course !" he said bruskly.
128 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Oh, am I ?" she retorted. "I suppose you
believe everything you read in the newspa-
Mr. Heatherbloom did not answer now ; he
was staring out of the window. Against the
sky the jutting lines of buildings seemed to
waver; new extraordinary angles and jogs
seemed to assert themselves. His gaze had a
glittering brightness when it turned. "Have
you any better authority?'*
His tone was a challenge. "I heard her tell
him so myself," she said succinctly. "That
she could never marry him and that he must
never come back."
Mr. Heatherbloom's hand crumpled the
newspaper ; then mechanically he folded it and
put it in his pocket. His look was once more
bent outward ; tiny specks, that were big steam-
boats going very fast, seemed motionless on
the sparkling surface of the water afar. His
thoughts scattered ; he tried to collect them, to
realize where he was, how he happened to be
there ; the identity of the speaker and what she
had been saying! Certain preconceived, fixed
A NEW-FOUND THEORY 129
ideas and conclusions had been toppled over,
brushed aside in an instant. Was it possible?
"I was waiting to trim and fill the lamps,"
said Jane. (Miss Van Rolsen clung to oiP
lamps for reading. ) "The prince and she were
in the library. He has a loud voice, you know,"
The young man did. "But why — "
"Search me!" Vivaciously. "He was the
very pick of the whole cargo of dukes and the
like. There isn't another girl in New York
would have done it."
"But surely," scarcely hearing her last
words, "no newspaper would dare to announce
such a thing without — "
"Oh, wouldn't it? When it called up the
house every day, almost, and got: There is
nothing to say'? Didn't I answer the 'phone
once or twice myself? *Miss Van Rolsen de-
clines to be interviewed concerning her niece.
She has nothing to say.* I think I once gig-
gled, the man's voice at the other end was
so aggressive. He said he was the city editor
himself. Is that very high up?"
Mr. Heatherbloom did not seem to hear.
I30 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
He scarcely saw his companion now ; neverthe-
less, he was conscious of a desire to be alone,
in order to concentrate, consider, reach for
light and find it But where could he discover
a safe spot ; his problem was a dual one ; pri-
marily, he must consider himself; he must not
forget his own desperate situation and danger.
The train, beginning to slacken, brought the
sense of it once more poignantly to mind. His
companion hadn't reached the station yet but
he suddenly rose. The car stopped with a jerk;
Mr. Heatherbloom murmured something hur-
riedly and dived for the door.
On the street he breathed deeply, standing as
in a daze while the thunder of iron-rimmed
wheels surrounded him. He was cognizant
principally of certain words humming in his
brain : The prince and she were not engaged !
The nobleman not returning to America in the
fall ! Never coming back !
But that item in fine print in the newspaper
he had in his pocket — what did it mean ? Noth-
ing, of course, beyond what it said; still —
A NEW-FOUND THEORY 131
Some one bumped into Mr. Heatherbloom ;
whereupon he suddenly realized that he was
standing on one of the busiest comers and had
been making himself as conspicuous as possi-
ble. Hastily he moved on. To what destina-
tion ? He glanced toward a convenient saloon ;
it looked hospitable and inviting. Then he re-
membered they — ^man-hunters, in general — ^al-
ways searched the saloons first for criminals.
He started toward a side street but paused,
reasoning that he was more prominent on com-
paratively isolated thoroughfares than on the
swarming ones. A stream of women flowing
into a big department store, exercised an odd
attraction for him. Safety lay, perhaps,
among numbers; at least, for the time, until
he could devise a course of action. If he
could conceive of one! If —
He must; he would. Every nerve in his
body seemed to respond. Had he not embarked
before this on desperate adventures ; had he not
fought in the face of overwhelming odds, and
managed to hold his head up ? A peculiar little
132 A MAN AND HIS MQNEY
smile played around the comer of his thin
lips; it was like the flash of light on a blade.
He joined the inflowing eddy.
Bargain day! He was crushed and crum-
pled but found himself ultimately on a stool
in the rear of the store. No; he didn't want
any marked-down collars or cuffs; he con-
veyed an impression to the solicitous clerk of
some one waiting for some one. Patiently,
uncomplainingly! With an unseeing eye for
the hurrying and scurrying myriads! Time
passed; he remained oblivious to the babble
of voices. Timon in the wilderness, Diogenes
in his tub, could not have been mentally more
isolated from annoying human consociation
than was at the moment Mr. Heatherbloom,
perched on a rickety stool amid a conglomera-
tion of females struggling for lingerie.
Suddenly he stirred. "Have you a book de-
partment?" he asked an employee.
"Straight across ; last aisle to the left."
Mr. Heatherbloom got up; his tread was
slow; a somnambulistic gleam appeared in his
eye. Yet he was very much awake; he had
A NEW-FOUND THEORY 133
never felt more keenly alert He reached the
Did they have any Russian fiction? Oh,
yes; what kind did he want, nihilistic or psy-
chological? The Fire and Sword kind, what-
ever that was ; the second volume of the
trilogy, if they had it in stock? Sure they had;
but had he read the first volume? No; he
didn't want that ; he would begin in the middle
of the trilogy. He always read trilogies that
The young lady in charge looked what she
thought as she handed him the book. He paid
her; unfortunately it cost more than the popu-
lar novels of the day. He rather gravely con-
templated the few small bills he had left; the
amount of his capital would not carry him very
far, especially if unusual expenses should oc-
cur. Miss Van Rolsen still owed him a little
money but he didn't see how h^ could collect
Mr. Heatherbloom, armed with his book,
sought a different part of the store — ^a small
reception-room, where customers of both sexes
134 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
were at liberty to read, write, or indulge in
mental rest-cure, after bargain purchases.
There he perused hurriedly, and by snatches,
the volume ; there was plenty of fire and plenty
of sword in it; human passions bubbled and
seethed. Suddenly he sat up straight and a
suppressed exclamation fell from his lips; he
closed the book sharply.
One or two old ladies looked at him but he
did not see them. His vision, clairvoyant-like,
seemed to have lifted, to traverse broad seas,
limitless steppes. His hands opened and closed,
as if striving to reach and clutch something be-
yond flame of battle, scenes of rapine.
He got up dizzily. As he stepped once more
into the street, the shadows had lengthened;
twilight was falling. He stopped at a pawn-
broker's, purchased a revolver and cartridges.
He might need the weapon now more than
ever. And money — he needed far more of
that than he had. He spread in his palm the
little wad of greenbacks he took from his
pocket; counted them and a few silver pieces.
Then seeking a ticket office, he made a few
A NEW-FOUND THEORY 135
casual inquiries ; a shadow rested on his coun-
tenance as he emerged from the place.
Next door to it a pile of gold pieces in a
bank window shone mockingly before his eyes.
So near — ^with only the plate-glass between
him and the bright discs! Mechanically he
began to count them, but suddenly turned from
that profitless occupation and stood with his
back to the window.
What availed resolution without dollars?
His purpose might be strong, but poverty, a
Brobdingnagian giant, laid its hand on his
shoulder, crushing him down, holding him
there, impotent, until the stocky man and his
cohorts of the private detective office should
come over and get him — ^to send him to the
little island he had thought of when crossing
the bridge to Brooklyn !
He fell back into a doorway. More mon-
ey ! — ^he must get it ; must ! He folded his arms
tight over his breast. To think that this should
be his one great, crying need — ^his !
Above, he heard footsteps descending the
stairway at the foot of which he stood; Mr.
136 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Heatherbloom slipped out of the passage to
the sidewalk and moved on. Chance took him
back the way he had come; he had no choice
of direction. Now he looked once more at the
window of the pawnbroker, where he had
stopped a short time before. He regarded the
unredeemed pledges ; seal-rings, watches, flutes,
old violins; what not? H he only had some-
thing left; but all had gone — ^long ago.
All ? He started slightly ; considered ; walked
on. But he turned around, hesitatingly, and
came slowly back. As he approached the door,
his step grew more resolute. He walked briskly
in. Without giving the proprietor time to come
to the front of the shop, Mr. Heatherbloom
moved at once to the back where the other sat
behind his dusty glass cases.
"Here I am once more." He spoke with
''What you want to buy now ?"
"I don't want to buy anything; I want to
The pawnbroker's interest in the visitor at
A NEW-FOUND THEORY 137
"I have everythings! Everythings !" he
grumbled. "Nearly every one wants to sell.
I have no room for noddings more. Grood
"But I've something special," said Mr.
Heatherbloom. As he spoke he took from an
inner pocket a little parcel in pink tissue-paper ;
he fingered it a moment, removing an ivory
miniature from a frame, passed the paper
quickly about the picture once more, and re-
turned it to his pocket. Then he handed the
frame, over the case, to the pawnbroker.
"What do you think of that, my Christian
friend?" he said with a show of jocularity
that didn't ring quite true.
The pawnbroker bent his dull face close to
the article; it was gold. A pretty trinket, set
with a number of brilliants, it might have
come from the Rue Royale or the Rue de la
"Cost about five hundred francs," observed
Mr. Heatherbloom, watching the other closely.
"One hundred dollars, without the duty."
"Where'd you get it?"
138 A ]^AN AND HIS MONEY
"None of your business." With a smile.
The man moved toward a telephone at his
back. "Do you know what Fm going to do ?'*
"I am curious."
'Phone the police."
Is that an invitation for me to depart? If
so—" Mr. Heatherbloom reached for the little
"Oh, no," said the man, retaining the grace-
ful article. "The police will find out who this
"Tut! tut!" observed Mr. Heatherbloom
lightly. Something on the edge of the show-
case pointed over it; the hand the proprietor
professed to raise toward the telephone fell to
his side ; he seemed about to call out "Don't !"
said the visitor. "It's loaded; you saw me
put in the cartridges yourself. Your little
game is very passe; I had it worked on me
once before, and placed you in your class —
a fourth-rater, with a crib for loot !"
The other considered; this customer's man-
ner was ominously quiet and easy; he didn't
like it. A telepathic message that flashed from
A NEW-FOUND THEORY 139
the gleaming gaze above the shining tube sug-
gested an utterly frivolous indifference to
tragic consequences. The proprietor moved
away from the telephone.
"Fifteen dollars," he said.
"Twenty," breathed Mr. Heatherbloom in-
The man put his hand in his pocket and
counted out the money. The caller took it, said
something in those same blithe significant
accents about what would happen if the other
made a move in the next two or three min-
utes, then vanished from the store. He did
not keep to the busy thoroughfare now, but
shot into a side street. Would the pawnbroker
hide the frame and then call the police? It
was quite possible he might thus seek to get
into their good graces and revenge himself at
the same time. Mr. Heatherbloom turned
from dark byway to dark byway. He knew
there was a possibility that he might keep going
throughout the night without being taken ; but
what would he attain by so doing, how would
that profit htm?
I40 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
He had to get back to New York at once,
and as speedily as possible! The shining face
of a street clock that a short time before he
had looked at, admonished him there were no
moments to spare, if he would carry out his
plan, his headstrong purpose— 'to verify or
disprove a certain wild theory — ^which would
take him where, lead to what? No matter!
Above, between black shadows of tall build-
ings, he saw a star, bright, beautiful. Some-
thing in him seemed to leap up to it — ^to that
light as frostily clear as her eyes! A taxi
passed ; he hailed it.
**How much to Jersey City?" he asked in
f everisll tones.
The man approximated a figure; it was
large, but Mr. Heatherbloom at once got in.
"AH right," he said. "Only let her go ! I've
a train to catch."
"You don't want to land us in the police
court, do you ?" asked the chauffeur.
Mr. Heatherbloom devoutly hoped not .
TWO days later, on a bright afternoon, a
young man stood on the edge of a
sea-wall called the Battery. It was not the
Battery, commanding a view of the outgoing
and incoming maritime traffic of the conti-
nent's metropolis, but another Battery, over-
looking another harbor, or estuary, landlocked
save for an entrance about a mile in width.
Behind him lay, not a great, but a little, city ;
hardly more than a big town; before him a
few vessels of moderate tonnage placidly plied
the main or swash channels.
The scene was tranquilizing; nevertheless
the young man appeared out of harmony with
it. His face wore a feverish flush; his eyes
had a restless gleam. He had only a short
time before come to town, entering in uncon-
142 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
ventional fashion. As the train had slack-
ened at a siding on the outskirts he had quietly,
and unperceived, slipped off the back platform
of the rear car; then made his way by devious
4 and little frequented side streets to the sea-
There, his eager gaze scanned the craft,
moving in the open, or motionless at the disr
tant wharfs. An expression of acute disai>-
pointment passed over his features; his eyes
did not find what they sought. Had that mad
flight been for nothing? Had he but run into
a new kind of "pocket'* here, all to no pur-
Mr. Heatherbloom sat down ; he was weary
and worn. The dancing sparkles laughed at
him; he did not feel like "laughing back*'.
Even as he leaned against the parapet a news-
boy close at hand called out :
"All about the mysterious abduction! One
of the miscreants traced to this city! Super-
intendent of police warned of his probaMe
The lad looked at Mr. Heatherbloom as he
shouted ; that gentleman returned his gaze with
"What abduction ?" he asked.
"Beautiful New York heiress."
The voice passed on ; the fugitive was once
more alone with his thoughts. If they had
been wild, turbulent before, what were they
now? His hands closed; at the moment he
did not bemoan his own probable fate, only
the fact that the clue bringing him here had
been false — false!
Another voice — this time a man's — ^accosted
him. Mr. Heatherbloom sprang swiftly to his
feet but the person, an old darky, did not
appear very formidable.
"Got a match, boss?" he inquired mildly.
Mr. Heatherbloom's bright suspicious glance
shot into the good-humored, open look of the
other; that person's manner betrayed no ulte-
rior motive. Perhaps he had not yet heard the
newsboy; did not know — Mechanically the
young man answered that he did not possess
144 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
the article required, but the intruder still lin-
gered ; he had accosted the other partly because
of a desire for desultory conversation. Mr.
Heatherbloom, after a moment's careful scru-
tiny, showed a disposition to be accommodat-
ing in this regard ; he even took the initiative —
suddenly, asking question after question about
this boat and that Her name; when she had
come; where she was going; of what her cargo
consisted? The other replied willingly. Like
many of his kind in the port, although he could
not read or write, he was wise in harbor- front
knowledge, knew all the floating tramps and
the sailing craft.
"I suppose it's always about the same old
boats drop in here?" Mr. Heatherbloom, after
a little, observed insinuatingly.
"Yes, always de same ole tubs," assented
the darky. •
A shadow crossed the other's face, but he
managed to assume a light air. "Battered
hulks and sailing brigs of a past generation,
eh ?" He put the case strongly, but the darky
only nodded smilingly. His strong point in
conversation was in agreeing with people; he
even forgot patriotism toward his own port in
Mr. Heatherbloom glanced now beyond
them to the right and the left ; but no one whom
he had reason to fear came within scope of his
vision. His figure relaxed. When would they
come to take him ? The newsboy's words reit-
erated themselves in his mind. "Traced to
this city !" Of course ; Miss Van Rolsen's mil-
lions were at the command of the secret-service
bureau; his description had been telegfraphed
far and wide. And when it should be fruitful
of results, what would become of his theory?
Nevertheless, he would go on, while he could,
to the last.
If he tried to explain they would consider
it but a paltry blind to cover his own crimi-
nality. He could expect no help from them;
he had to triumph or fail through his own
efforts. To fail, certainly; it was decreed.
For the moment something in his breast
pocket seemed to burn there, a tiny object, now
without the frame. Involuntarily he raised
146 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
his hand; then his figure swayed; the street
waved up and down. He had eaten little dur-
ing the last two or three days. Scornfully in
his own mind he berated that momentary weak-
ness and steadied himself. His eyes, cold and
clear, now returned to the colored man; he
groped for and took up the thread of the talk
where he had left it.
"Old hulks and brigs! You don't ever hap-
pen to have any really fine boats come in here,
do you? Like Mr. Morgan's big private
yacht, for example?"
"No; we ain't never seen dat craft yere.
Dis port's more for lumber and — "
Mr. Heatherbloom looked down. "I saw
an item in the paper"— he strove to speak
unconcernedly — ''a Marconigram — that a cer-
tain Russian prince's private yacht — ^the
Nevski — ^had damaged her propeller, or some
other part of her gear, and was being towed
into this harbor for emergency repairs."
"Oh, yes, boss !" said the man. The listener
took a firmer grip on the parapet. "You done
mean de big white boat w'at lies on de odder
side ob de island; can't see her from yere.
Dey done fix her up mighty quick an' she
gwine ter lebe to-night."
"Leave to-night !" Mr. Heatherbloom's face
changed ; suppressed eagerness, expectancy
shone from his eyes ; he turned away to conceal
it from the other. "Looks like good fishing
over there near the island," he observed after
"Tain't so much for fishin' as crabbin'/'
returned the other.
"Crabbing!" repeated Mr. Heatherbloom.
"A grand sport! Now if — ^are you a crab-
ber?" The darky confessed that crabbing was
his main occupation ; his boat swung right over
there; for a dollar he would give the other
several hours' diversion.
Mr. Heatherbloom accepted the offer with
alacrity. A few moments later, seated in a
dilapidated cockle-shell, he found himself
skimming over the water. The boat didn't
ship the tops of many seas but it took in
enough spray over the port bow to drench
pretty thoroughly the passenger. In the stem.
148 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
the darky handling the sheet of a small, much
patched sail, kept himself comparatively dry.
But Mr. Heatherbloom didn't seem to mind
the drenching; though the briny drops stung
his cheek, his face continued ever bent for-
ward, toward a point of land to the right of
which lay the island that came ever nearer, but
slowly — ^so slowly!
He could see the top of the spars of a vessel
now over the high sand-hills; his body bent
toward it; in his eyes shone a steely light
Their little boat drew closer to the near side
of the island ; the hillocks stood up higher ; the
tapering topmasts of the craft on the other
side disappeared. The crabber's cockle-shell
came to anchor in a tranquil sandy cove.
Mr. Heatherbloom, although inwardly chaf-
ing, felt obliged to restrain impatience; he
could not afford to awaken the darky's sus^
picions, therefore he simulated interest and
— "crabbed". He enjoyed a streak of good
luck, but his artificial enthusiasm soon waned.
He at length suggested trying the other side
of the island, whereupon his pilot expostulated.
What more did his passenger want? The
latter thought he would stretch his legs a bit
on the shore; it made him stiff to sit still so
long. He would get out and walk around —
he had a predilection for deserted islands.
While he was gfratifying his fancy the darky
could return to his more remunerative business
of gathering in the denizens of the deep.
Five minutes later Mr. Heathe^bloom stood
on the sandy beach; he started as if to walk
around the island but had not gone far before
he turned and moved at a right angle up over
the sand-hill. The duU-hued bushes that some*
how found nourishment on the yellow mound
now concealed his figure from the boatman;
the same hardy vegetation afforded him a shel-
ter from the too inquisitive gaze of any persons
on the yacht when he had gained the summit
of the sands.
There, he peered through the leaves down
upon a beautiful vessel. She lay near the
shore ; whatever her injury, it seemed to have
been repaired by this time for few signs of
life were apparent on or about hen Steam
ISO A MAN AND HIS MONEY
was up ; a faint dun-colored smoke swept, pen-
non-like, from her white funnels. Some one
was inspecting her stem from a platform
swung over the rail, and to Mr. Heather-
bloom's strained vision this person's interest,
or concern, centered in the mechanism of her
rudder. The trouble had been there no doubt,
and if so, the yacht had probably come, or
been brought near the island at high water,
and at low tide any damage she might have
suffered had been attended to. Her injury
must have been more vexatious than serious.
Would she, as the darky had affirmed, leave
when the tide was once more at its full ? Her
lying in the outer, instead of in the inner
harbor, seemed significant. Time passed ; the
person on the platform regained the deck and
disappeared. In the bushes the watcher sud-
Something at one of the port windows had
caught his glance. A ribbon ? A fluttering bit
of lace? A woman's features that phantom-
like had come and vanished? He looked hard
— ^so steadily that spots began to dance before
his sight, but he could not verify that first im-
pression. Yet he remained. The shadows on
the furze grew longer, falling in strange an-
gular shapes down the hillside ; the sun dipped
low. At length Mr. Heatherbloom, after the
manner of one who had made up his mind to
something, abruptly rose.
He walked back toward the cove where he
had disembarked. As he drew near the darky
caught sight of him, pulled up "anchor" and
paddled his boat to the shore. But Mr. Heath-
erbloom did not at once get in ; his eyes rested
on the bushel or so of freshly caught, bubble-
blowing crabs. He strove to appear calm and
"What do you expect to get for them?" he
" 'Bout fifty cents de dozen, boss. Crab
market ain't what it ought ter be jest now."
"Why don't you try to sell them to the yacht
over there?" Mr. Heatherbloom managed to
speak carelessly but it was a difficult task.
"Jest becos she is 'over there', boss," re-
turned the darky lazily. "Mighty swift tide
152 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
sweeping around de head of dat island!" he
"And you don't like rowing against it?"
Quickly. "See here, I'll tell you what I'll do.
I like a bit of exercise, and just for the gamble,
I'll give you sixty cents a dozen for the lot,
and keep all I can get over that. The owner
of tliat craft is a Russian and all Russians like
sea food. When they can't get caviar, they'll
no doubt make a bid for crabs."
"Dat sounds like berry good argumentation,
boss. Make it seventy" — avarice struggling on
the dusky countenance — "an' — ^"
"Done!" said Mr. Heatherbloom, endeavor-
ing to disguise the fierce eagerness welling
within him. "Here's on account !" Tossing his
last bill to the other. "And now, get out. It'll
be easier pulling without you."
The darky grinned and obeyed. This was a
strenuous passenger truly, not averse to stiff
rowing, after a stiff walk, "jest for pleasure".
But the dusky pilot had met these anomalous
white beings before — ^**spo'tsmen", they called
themselves. And a certain sense of humor, as
Mr. Heatherbloom sat down to the oars, caused
the colored man involuntarily to hum: I'se
got a white man arworkin' for me. He had
only finished a bar or two, however, when
the tune abruptly ceased on his lips. *t)at's
too bad," he said. "I guess de deal's off, boss."
"Eh?" Mr. Heatherbloom looked around.
He meant to keep the man to his bargain now,
by force if necessary.
"Look dar!" continued the darky.
Mr. Heatherbloom did look in the direction
indicated. A puff of black smoke could be
seen rising over the island, and — significant
fact ! — ^the dark smudge seemed to be crawling
along beyond the sky-line of the sand-hill. The
young man turned pale.
"It's de Russian yacht, boss. She's under
way all right!"
Mr. Heatherbloom continued to gaze. Where
the island was lower he saw the topmasts mov-
ing along — ^then the boat herself, white, beau-
tiful, swinging out from behind, with bow
pointed seaward and steaming fast
154 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Dat's too bad," murmured the colored man.
I done be powerful disappointed, boss !"
The other did not answer. Going! going!
He had waited too long to board her. He
could not reach her now — ^he would never reach
her. The flame of the dying sun flared in Mr.
Heatherbloom's face, but he continued mo-
ON THE ROAD
GONE! It was the only word he could
think of. Every thought, every emo-
tion centered around it. He could not reason
or argue. No plan occurred to him now. He
continued to sit still, seeing but one picture — sl
boat vanishing. Night had begun to fall as they
returned to the city. Its lights played mock-
ingly in the darkness. Mr. Heatherbloom
viewed them with apathetic gaze. The secret-
service man, the chief of police and his assist-
ants were on shore somewhere waiting to cap-
ture him, but he did not care. Let them take
him now ! What did it matter ?
When the boat reached land he got out like
an automaton. Perhaps he made answer to
the darky's last cheerful good night, but if so
he spoke without knowing it. The boatman
156 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
let him go, willingly ; Mr. Heatherbloom hadn't
asked for his last bill back again and the other
overlooked reminding him of his remissness.
The greenback was considerably more than
Indifferent to his fate, Mr. Heatherbloom
moved on; no one molested him. He walked
along dark highways, not through fear of being
apprehended, but because his mood was dark.
He did not even notice where he went ; he just
kept going. He forgot he was hungry, but at
length, as in a dream, he began to realize a
physical weariness. Overwrought nature as-
serted itself; he was not made of iron; his
muscles responded reluctantly. Without ob-
serving his surroundings, he sank listlessly to
the earth ; the cool grass received his exhausted
frame. Beyond, some distance away, the lights
of the city threw now a sullen glow on the sky.
All was comparatively still about him; the
noise of the city was replaced by the lighter
sound of vehicles on th^ well kept, almost non-
resounding country road. It seemed to be a
main thoroughfare, but with little life and
ON THE ROAD 157
animation about it at that evening hour. A
buggy did go by occasionally, however, and,
not far from Mr. Heatherbloom, at a curb,
stood a motor-car.
He had suffered himself to relax qn the
ground in front of a small house set well back
among spectral-looking trees and surrounded
by a stone wall overgrown with foliage. Mr.
Heatherbloom remained unmindful of his sur-
roundings. The lamps of the car near by
were not lighted; a single figure on the front
seat was barely distinguishable. Now this
person got down and lighted a cigarette; he
seemed restless, walked to and fro, and glanced
once or twice at the house. From a single
window a faint light gleamed ; then it vanished,
only to reappear a few moments later at an-
other window. Among the masses of foliage
fireflies glistened; a tree-toad began to make
a sound but almost immediately stopped. The
front door had apparently opened and some
person or persons came out. The faint crunch-
ings on the gravel indicated more than one
person. Now they stepped on the grass, for
IS8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
there were no audible indications of their ap-
proach. The man near the machine threw
quickly away his cigarette and opened the door
of the car. Several people, issuing from the
gate, crossed the sidewalk and got in. Mr.
Heatherbloom was hardly aware of the fact;
they seemed but unmeaning shadows.
The driver bent over and lighted one of his
lamps. As he did so, the flare revealed for an
instant his face — ^square, rather handsome and
bearded. A faint flicker of interest, for some
reason undefinable to himself at the moment,
swept over Mr. Heatherbloom. He had been
lying where the grass was tall and now raised
himself on his elbow, the better to peer over
the waving tops. The car had gathered head-
way and swung out into the road, when sud-
denly some one in it laughed and uttered an
exclamation in a foreign tongue. That musical
note — 2L word he did not understand — ^was
wafted to Mr. Heatherbloom. It acted upon
him like a galvanic shock ; he sprang to his feet
and, bewildered, stared after the machine.
What had happened; was he dreaming? He
ON THE ROAD 159
could hardly at first believe the evidence of his
senses, for the laugh, coming back to him in the
night, was that of the woman for whom he had
procured employment at Miss Van Rolsen's.
He could have sworn to the fact now. And the
man whose countenance he had so briefly seen '
was, no doubt, of her own nationality — b,
Involuntarily, without realizing what he did,
Mr. Heatherbloom started to run in the direc-
tion the car had gone, but he soon stopped.
What madness! — to attempt to catch a sixty-
horse-power machine! Why, it was nearly a
mile away already. The young man stood
stock-still while a cogent reaction swept over
him. The woman had passed within fifty feet
of where he had lain, head near the earth, mop-
ing. A mocking desire to atone for a great
remissness found him impotent. There seemed
nothing for him to do now but to reconcile
himself to the irreconcilable, to stay here,
while every desire urged him to follow her,
to learn why this woman was in the car and
who was with her. Naturally, he had expected
i6o A MAN AND HIS MONEY
she would be on the yacht now steaming away
out to sea, and here she was. A new enigma
Mr. Heatherbloom continued to stand in the
center of the road. His head whirled; he
panted hard, out of breath from his recent
dash. A loud honk! honk! from another
machine coming tmexpectedly up behind,
caused him to leap aside just in time. The
second car whizzed by, although obeying an
impulse bom on the instant, he called out
wildly, waving his arms to bring it to a halt
If they saw his strange motions — which was
unlikely, the night being dark — they did not
heed them. Soon the second machine was some
distance away ; then its rear light gleamed like
a vanishing coal and suddenly disappeared alto-
gether around a bend of the road.
He looked back; no other vehicle of any
description was in sight now. But it profited
nothing to continue passive, immovable. He
had to act, to walk on, no matter how slowly ;
his face, at least, was set in the direction f.he
woman had gone. How long it took hini to
ON THE ROAD i6i
reach the turn of the thoroughfare he could
not tell, but at length there, he came again to
an abrupt stop. Some distance ahead in the
road appeared a machine, motionless — ^waiting,
or broken down.
Which car was it ? The one containing the
woman, or the other that came after? If the
former — He pressed on eagerly, yet keeping
to the shadows, alive once more to the need
of caution. His heart pounded hard ; he could
see a form passing in front of the machine;
the light of the lamp enabled him now to make
out the other occupants — ^three men. No
woman was with them. This became poign-
antly, irrefutably evident as he drew nearer.
He could see plainly the empty car and the
trio of figures ; he could hear them talking but
was not yet able to distinguish what they said.
These were the people whose attention he had
tried to attract back there in the road. His
purpose then, occurring to him in a flash, re-
newed itself strongly now. He would ask
their aid; circumstances might enable him to do
so now with better grace. He had had a good
i62 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
deal of experience with cars of divers kinds
and makes at different times in the past. Why
not proffer these strangers his fairly expert
services? He felt sure he could soon learn,
and repair, what was wrong with the machine.
Having made himself useful, he could then
intimate that a "lift" down the road would be
acceptable. And he would probably get it.
But he did not carry out his intention.
Something he heard as he came closer to them
caused him to hesitate and reconsider. Mixed
with anathemas directed against the car, of
rather a cheap t)q)e, were words that had for
him more than passing significance. These
men were after some one, and that the some
one was none other than himself, Mr. Heather-
bloom soon became fully convinced. Fate
had been kinder to him than he knew when he
had endeavored, and failed, to win their notice.
He crouched back now against a rail fence;
their low disgruntled tones were still borne to
him. For some moments they continued to
work over the machine without apparently
being able to set it to rights.
ON THE ROAD 163
"If this goes on much longer," said one of
them, "he'll get away from Brownville."
"Providin' he's there!" grumbled another.
"People are always seeing an escaped criminal
in a dozen different localities at the same time."
Brownville ! The listener soon divined, from
a sentence dropped here and there, that the
place was a little fishing village a short dis-
tance down the coast. He surmised, also, that
they had by this time the main harbor of the
city fairly watched as far as outgoing vessels
were concerned, and were reaching out to pre-
vent a possible exit from the smaller comnju-
nity. Fishing craft leaving from there could
easily take out a fugitive and thus enable him
to escape. This contingency the authorities were
now endeavoring to avert; that they also had
some kind of a clue, pointing to their present
destination and inciting them to make haste
thither, was evident from the skeptical remark
Mr. Heatherbloom had overheard.
A series of explosions, as sudden as spas-
modic, broke in on the listener's thoughts.
"Hurray!" said one. "We're off!"
i64 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
And they were, quickly. Mr. Heatherbloom
also moved with extreme abruptness and ex-
pedition. Waiting in the shadow until they
had all sprung into the car and the machine
had fairly started, he then darted forward,
seized a strap and clinging as best he might,
hoisted himself to the place in the rear designed
for a trunk. One desire only, in resorting to
this expedient, moved him — ^to get in touch as
soon as possible, if possible, with the other car.
This machine, of inferior build, suggested, it is
true, a dubious way to that end but it was the
best that offered.
He did not see the incongruity of his posi-
tion, of being a passenger, though secretly
and surreptitiously, of the car containing
those embarked on a mission so closely con-
cerning himself. Instead of fleeing from them
he was actually courting their company, pur-
suing himself, as it were ! At another time he
might have smiled; now the situation had for
him nothing of the comic; it was tragically
grim, also decidedly unpleasant. A strong odor
ON THE ROAD 165
of gasolene permeated his nostrils until he was
nearly suffocated by it and all the dust, stirred
by their flight, swirled up on him, making it
difficult to refrain from coughing. Fortu-
nately the machine had a monopoly on noises,
and any sound from him would have passed
unnoticed. He had ridden the "bumpers" not
so long ago on freights, and, perforce, in-
dulged in kindred uncomfortable methods of
free transportation in the course of his recent
career, but he had never experienced anything
quite so little to be desired as this.
The driver had begun to speed; as if to
make up for lost time, he was forcing the en-
gine to its limit. The machine, of light con-
struction, shook violently, negotiated the steep
places with jumps and slid down on the other
side with breakneck velocity. The dust thick-
ened about Mr. Heatherbloom's head so that he
could scarcely see. His arms ached and every
bump nearly tore him loose. He wound the
strap around his wrist and strove to ensconce
himself deeper in a place not large enough for
i66 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
him. He was on an edge all the time, and felt
as if he were falling over every moment; the
edge, too, was sharp and dug into him.
Mr. Heatherbloom, however, had little
thought of bodily discomfort; he was more
concerned in making prog^ress and the diffi-
culty of maintaining his position. His only fear
was that he would be compelled to abandon his
place because his physical energy might not
be equal to the demands put upon it. He
set his teeth now and began to count the
seconds. The faster they went, the better was
his purpose served; he strove to find encour-
agement in the thought. The other car could
make a superior showing in the way of speed,
but it might stop voluntarily somewhere after
a while, or something might happen to arrest
its progress. The race did not always belong
to the swift He endeavored to formulate
some plan as to just what he would do if he
did finally manage to overtake the woman and
her party, but at length ceased trying. Suffi-
cient unto the moment were the problems
thereof ; he could but strive in the present He
ON THE ROAD 167
dispelled the fear that he could not hold on
much longer, and filled himself with new deter-
mination not to yield. But even as he did so, a
bigger bump than any they had yet encountered
jerked him abruptly from his place.
When finally he managed to collect himself
and his senses and sit up uncertainly in the
road, the car was far away. The snap of
exploding gasolene grew faint — fainter — ^then
IN THE NIGHT
A WAYWORN figure, some time there-
after, moved slowly along the deserted
road, where it ran like a winding ribbon over
the top of a great bluff. A sea wind, coming
in varying gusts, bent low the long grass and
rustled in the bushes. The moon had escaped
from behind dark clouds in a stormy sky and
threw its rays far and wide. They imparted a
frosty sheen to the wavy surface between road
and sea and brightened the thoroughfare,
which, lengthening tortuously, disappeared
beneath in a tangle of forest or underbrush.
Mr. Heatherbloom jg^azed wearily down the
road, then over the grass. In the latter direc-
tion, afar, a $trip of ocean lay like an argent
stream flowing between the top of the bank
and the horizon. Toward that illusory river
IN THE NIGHT 169
he, leaving the main highway, walked in some-
what discouraged fashion. It might avail him
little, so much time had elapsed, but from the
edge of the bluff he would be afforded a view
of the surrounding coimtry and the topography
of the coast
A vast spread of the ocean unfolded to his
gaze before he had reached the brink of the
prominence. His heavy-lidded eyes, sweep-
ing to the right, rested on a heterogeneous
group of dwellings scattered well above the
sands and directly below a wooded uprising of
land. Myriad specks of light glimmered amid
shadowy roofs. Brownville? Undoubtedly!
A board walk ran along the ocean and a small
pier extended like an arm over the water. On
the faintly glistening sands old boats, drawn
up here and there, resembled so many black
Not far from where Mr. Heatherbloom
stood a path went downward, a shorter way
to the village than by the road he had just left.
He stared unthinkingly a moment at the nar-
row walk ; then began mechanically to descend.
I70 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
A dull realization weighed on him that when
he reached his destination the woman would
be far away. He wondered why he had gone
on, under the circumstances — ^why he had ever
thought he stood a ghost of a chance of over-
taking her? Only the hopelessness of the sit-
uation, in all its grim verity, faced him now.
The path zigzagged through the bushes. At
a turn the village was lost to sight; in front
was a sheer fall to the sea. As he kept on, pro-
jecting branches struck him and raising his
hand to guard his face, he tripped and almost
fell. Recovering himself, he glanced down;
something had caught on his shoe and he
leaned over to loosen it. His fingers closed on
a long strip of soft substance — sl veil, the kind
worn by women motoring! Mr. Heather-
bloom's eyes rested on it apathetically, then
with a sudden flash of interest; a faint but
heavy perfume emanated from the silky fila-
ment It was darkish in hue — ^brown, he
should say; the Russian woman was partial
to that color. The thought came to him quick-
ly; he stood bewildered. What if it were hers?
IN THE NIGHT 171
Then how had it come here, on this narrow
foot-path, unless — Had the big car stopped
at the top of the promontory and discharged
its passengers there? But why should it have
done so ; for what possible reason ?
He could think of none. Other women came
this way — ^the path was not difficult. Other
women wore brown veils. And yet that odd
familiar fragrance — It seemed to belong to
a foreign bizarre personality such as Sonia
Crushing in his palm the veil he thrust it
into his pocket. He would find out more be-
low, possibly; if she had actually passed this
way. .A feverish zest was bom anew; the au-
thorities were looking for her as well as for
himself, he remembered. She, apparently, had
so far cleverly evaded them; if he could but
lead them to her he would not mind so much
his own apprehension. Her presence in the
locality at the same time the Nevski had
been in the harbor would fairly prove the cor-
rectness of his theory of Miss Dalrymple's
whereabouts. If he could now deliver the Rus-
172 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
sian woman into the hands of the law, he would
have a wedge to force the powers that be to
give credence to at least the material part of
his story — ^that the prince had left port with the
young girl — and to compel them to see the
necessity of acting at once. That he, him-
self, would be held equally culpable with the
woman was of no moment.
Fatigue seemed to fall from his shoulders.
He went along more swiftly, inspired with new
vague hopes. Down — down! The voice of
the sea grew nearer; now he could hear the
dull thud of the waves, then the weird whis-
tling sounds that succeeded. Springing from a
granite outjutting to the sands, he looked
eagerly, searchingly, this way and that. He
saw no one. His gaze lowered and he walked
from the dry to the wet strand. There he
stopped, an exclamation escaping his lips.
A faint light, falling between black rocks,
revealed fresh footprints on the surface of the
sands, and, yes !-r— a long furrow — ^the marks of
the keel of a boat. He studied the footprints
closer, but without discovering signs of a
IN THE NIGHT 173
woman's ; only the indentations of heavy sea-
men's boots were in evidence Mr. Heather-
bloom experienced a keen disappointment; then
felt abruptly reassured. The impress of her
lighter tread had been eliminated by the men in
lifting and pushing to launch the boat. Their
boots had roughly kicked up the sand there-
He was fairly satisfied the woman had em-
barked. The seclusion of the spot favored the
assumption; the fishing-boats were all either
stranded, or at anchor, nearer the village. But
why and whither had she gone? The ocean, in
front, failed to answer the latter question, and
his glapce turned. On the one hand was the
village; on the other, high, almost perpendicu-
lar rocks ran seaward, obscuring the view. It
would not be easy to get around that point;
without a boat it could not be done.
Mr. Heatherbioom began to walk briskly to-
ward the village ; the moon threw his shadow
in odd bobbing motions here and there. Once
he stopped abruptly; some one on the beach
afar was approaching. A fisherman? Mr.
174 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Heatherbloom crouched back among the rocks,
when the person came to a halt. Clinging to
the shadows on the landward side of the beach
the young man continued to advance, but cau-
tiously, for a single voice might now start a
general hue and cry. Beyond, closer to town,
he could see other forms, small dark moving
spots. Not far distant, however, lay the near-
est boat; to get to her he had to expose him-
self to the pale glimmer. No alternative re-
mained. He stepped quickly across the sand,
reached the craft and strove to launch her. But
she was clumsy and heavy, and resisted his ef-
forts. The man, whoever he might be, was
coming closer ; he called out and Mr. Heather-
bloom pushed and struggled more desperately
— ^without avail! He cast a quick glance over
his shoulder; the man was running toward
him — ^his tones now rang out loudly, authori-
tatively. Mr. Heatherbloom did not obey that
stem command to halt ; instead he made a wild
abrupt dash for the sea. The report of a re-
volver awoke the echoes and a bullet whizzed
dose. Recklessly he plunged into the water.
IN THE NIGHT 175
The man on the shore emptied his weapon,
but with \^hat success he could not tell. A
head amid the dark waves was not easily dis-
cernible. Another and larger object, however,
was plainly apparent about a hundred yards
from land — a fishing-boat that swung at an-
chor. Would the other succeed in reaching it,
for that was, no doubt, his purpose, or had one
of the leaden missives told? The man, with
weapon hot, waited. He scanned the water,
then looked toward the town. A number of
figures on the beach were hastening in his di-
rection; from the pier afar, a naphtha put out;
he could hear faintly the sound of the engine.
Suddenly, above the boat at anchor near the
man on shore, a sail shot up, then fluttered and
snapped in the wind. A moment later it was
drawn in, the line holding the craft to the buoy
slipped out, and the bow swung sharply around.
Mr. Heatherbloom worked swiftly; one desire
moved him — to get around that point before
being overtaken — ^to discover what lay beyond.
Then let happen what would ! He reached for
a line and hoisted a jib, though it was almost
176 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
more canvas than his small craft could carry.
She careened and plunged, throwing the spray
high. He turned a quick glance back toward
the naphtha. The sky had become overcast, and
distant objects were not so easily discernible on
the surface of the water, but he made out her
lights — two ! She was head on for him.
He looked steadily ahead again. The grim
line of out- jutting rocks — 2l black shadow
against the sky — exercised a weird fascina-
tion for him. He was well out in the open now
where the wind blew a half-gale. His figure
was wet from the sea but he felt no chill. Sud-
denly the hand gripping the tiller tightened,
and his heart gave a great bound; then sank.
Not far from that portentous point of land he
saw another light — green ! A boat was emerg-
ing from the big basin of water beyond. The
starboard signal, set high above the waves, be-
longed to no small craft such as the woman
had embarked in. The sight of it fitted a con-
tingency that had flashed through his brain on
the beach. The realization left him helpless
now — ^his last opportunity was gone!
IN THE NIGHT 177
He shifted the tiller violently, recklessly. At
that moment a shrill whistle from behind re-
minded him once more of the naphtha ; he could
have laughed. What was the wretched little
puffing thing to him now? The single green
light — ^that alone was the all in all. It be-
longed to the Nevski he was sure; for one
reason or another she had but made pretense
of going to sea, and, instead, had come here— ^
to wait. The woman was on her now, and,
also — The thought maddened him.
Again that piercing whistle! The naphtha
was coming up fast; amid the turmoil of his
thoughts he realized this vaguely. He did not
wish to find himself delivered unto them yet —
not just yet ! A wilder recklessness seized him.
Clouds sped across the heavens like gripping
furies' hands; the water ran level to his boat's
gunwales but he refused to ease her. All the
while he was drawing nearer the single green
light — ^a mocking light, signal of a mocking
chase that had led, and could lead, to nothing.
Still he went on, tossed by the waves — sport of
them. He had to play the play out. Oh, to
178 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
see better, to visualize to the utmost the last
scene of his poignant drama of failure!
In the naphtha some one's voice belched -
through a megaphone; he laughed outright
now. Come and get him, if they wanted him I
He would give them as merry a dash as pos-
sible. His boat raced madly through the water
— ^nearer, yet nearer the green light. Now a
large dark outline loomed before him; he
would have to stop, to come about in a moment,
or — A great wave struck him, half filling his
boat, but he did not seem to notice.
A dazzling white glow suddenly surrounded
him ; from the naphtha a search-light had been
flashed. It fell on him fully, sprinkled over
on the wild hurtling waves beyond, and just
touched the side of the outgoing vessel. Mr.
Heatherbloom looked toward the vessel and his
pupils dilated. The light leaped into the air
with the motion of the naphtha, and, in an in-
stant was gone, but the impress of a single de-
tail remained on his retina — of a side ladder,
lowered, no doubt, for the woman, and not yet
hoisted into place on the big boat.
IN THE NIGHT 179
The wildness of the sea seemed to surge
through Mr. Heatherbloom's veins ; he did not
come about ; he did not try to. Now it was too
late ! That ladder ! — ^he would seize it as they
swept by. Closer his boat ran ; a swirl of water
caught him, threw him from his course. He
made a frantic effort to regain it but without
avail. The big steel bow of the great boat
struck and overwhelmed the little craft.
ON the Nevski, the lookout forward
walked slowly back and forth. Once or
twice he shook his head. But a few moments
before the yacht had run down a small boat,
he had reported the matter, and — ^the Nevski
had continued ahead, full speed. She had not
even slackened long enough to make the usual
futile pretense of extending assistance^to the
unfortunate occupant, or occupants. His ex-
cellency. Prince Boris, evidently did not wish,
or had no time, to bother with blunderers; if
they got in his way so much the worse for
them. The lookout, pausing to stare once more
ahead, suddenly started. Though apathetic,
like most of the lower class of his countrymen,
he uttered a faint guttural of surprise and
peered over the bow. A voice had seemed to
THE CRISIS i8i
rise from the very seething depths of the sea.
• Naturally superstitious, he made the sign of
the cross on his breast while tales of dead sea-
men who came back played through his dull
Once more he heard it — ^that voice that
seemed to mingle with the wailing tones of the
deep ! The little swinging lantern beneath the
bowsprit played on his bearded face as he bent
farther forward, and, with growing wonder
not unmixed with fear, now made out some-
thing dark clinging to one of the steel lines that
ran from the projecting timber to the ship. It
took the lookout a few moments to realize that
this dark object that had a voice — ^albeit a faint
one — could not be other than a recent occupant
of the small boat he had seen disappear. This
person must have leaped upward at the critical
moment, and caught one of the taut strands
upon which he had somehow managed to hoist
himself and to which he now clung desperately.
It was a precarious position and one that the
motion of the yacht made but briefly tenable.
Satisfied that the dark object was a reality
i82 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
and not an unwonted visitation, the lookout be-
gan deliberately to unloosen a gasket Moments
might be eternity to the man below, but Musco-
vite slowness is not to be hurried. The yacht's
bow poised in mid air a breathless instant;
chaos seemed leaping upward toward Mr.
Heatherbloom, when something — a line —
struck and rubbed against his cheek. He seized
and trusted himself to it eagerly. The sailor
was strong ; he pulled in the rope. Mr. Heath-
erbloom came up, but his strength was almost
gone. He would have let go when iron fingers
closed on his wrists, and after that he remem-
bered no more.
He awoke in a berth in a fo'castle, and it
was daylight. Through a partly-opened hatch
he could see the fine spray that came over the
side of the yacht. Amid misty particles
touched by the sun shone a tiny segment of
rainbow. This Mr. Heatherbloom watched
with a kind of childish interest ; then stretched
himself more luxuriously on the hard bunk. It
was very fine having nothing more important
and arduous to do than watching prismatic
THE CRISIS 183
hues ; his thoughts floated back to long forgot-
ten wonder-days when he had possessed that
master-marvel of toys, a kaleidoscope, and on
occasion had importantly permitted the golden-
haired child in the big house on the top of the
The dream was abruptly dispelled by some
one laying a tarry hand on his shoulder. Mr.
Heatherbloom raised himself. The person had
a characteristic Russian face. For a momept the
young man stared at the stolid features, then
looked around him. He saw the customary
furnishings of such a place; hammocks, bags
and chests, several of the last marked with
Russian characters. A trace of color sprang
to Mr. Heatherbloom's face; he realized now
what boat he was actually on, and what it all
meant to him. He could hardly believe, how-
ever, and continued to regard the upside down
odd lettering, when the sailor, who had so un-
ceremoniously disturbed him, motioned him to
get out. Mr. Heatherbloom obeyed; he felt
very stiff and somewhat light-headed, but he
steadied himself against the woodwork. The
i84 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
sailor drew a dipperful of hot tea from a sam-
ovar and thrust it into his hand. He drank
with avidity; after which the sailor made him
to understand he was to follow.
The young man hesitated — s, new risk con-
fronted him. To whom would he be taken?
The prince? He had once been standing
in the area way of the Van Rolsen house
when the nobleman had approached. Had
the distinguished visitor then been so ab-
sorbed in the sight of Miss Dalfymple coming
down the steps that he had utterly failed to
observe the humble caretaker of canines?
Possibly — ^and again possibly not. In the for-
mer contingency he might yet have a brief
oreathing-spell to think — to plan for the fu-
ture, unless — There was another to reckon
with — ^the woman he had met in the park,
whose automobile he had attempted to follow.
She, too, was on the boat! He had been her
dupe once. Was he now to become her victim?
The young man's jaw set. There was no
holding back now, however; he had to go on
— ^and he did, with seeming indifference and
THE CRISIS 185
bold enough step. At the top of the ladder the
sailor passed him on to some one else — an offi-
cer — ^who led him this way and that until they
reached a secluded part of the deck, where,
near the rail, stood a tall dark figure, glass in
hand. Until the last moment Mr. Heather-
bloom had hoped it might be only the captain
he would be called on to encounter, and that
that august person would summarily dispose of
him, ordering him somewhere out of sight, be-
low, to work his passage in the sailors' galley,
perhaps. He would have welcomed the most
ignominious service to have found now a re-
spite — to be enabled to escape discovery a little
longer. But the wished- for contingency had
not arisen. He faced the inevitable.
"The man, your Excellency !"
His excellency looked. He had been scan-
ning the horizon and his expression was both
moody and preoccupied. Mr. Heatherbloom
bent slightly forward; his lids fell to conceal
a sudden glitter in his eyes; his hand touched
something hard in his pocket. If his excel-
lency recognized him — There was one way —
i86 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
a last mad desperate way to serve, to save
her. It would be the end-all for him, but
his life was a very small thing to give to
her. He did not value it greatly — that
physical self that had been such an ill servant.
He gazed at the prince now with veiled expect-
ancy, his attitude seemingly relaxed, innocent
of strenuosity. Would the prince's gaze flare
back with a spark of remembrance? If in that
tense instant it had done so, then —
But his excellency regarded Mr. Heather-
bloom blankly ; his eyes were emotionless.
"You mean the fellow we ran down ?" The
prince spoke as if irritated by the intrusion.
"The same, Excellency 1" The officer stepped
back. Mr. Heatherbloom did not move.
"What did you get in our way for?" The
prince's voice had a metallic ring; he towered,
harshly arrogant, over his uninvited passenger.
"Don't you know enough to get out of the
"It appears not, sir." Heatherbloom won-
dered at the sound of his own voice. It seemed
to come, small and quiet, from so far off. His
THE CRISIS 187
excellency had not recognized him, but was he
suspicious ? Maybe nor. No one would be fool
enough to get deliberately in the way ot the
fast-steaming Nevski. Small craft were nu-
merous in the bay and accidents to them would
happen. There was nothing so out of the ordi-
nary for a big boat to run down a tiny craft.
It was somewhat uncommon for any one in the
wee boat to save himself, truly, but even in this
feature of the present case the prince experi-
enced but a mild interest.
^Who are you?" he said. "A fisherman?"
'Not exactly," answered Mr. Heatherbloom,
"though sometimes I crab. I was crabbing
As he spoke his gaze swept beyond to not
far-distant cabin doors and windows. He and
the prince were standing on the starboard side
of the boat ; it was this side that had faced the
island when the young man had gazed down
upon the yacht from the big sand-hill, and fan-
cied he had seen —
^'What am I going to do with you?" The
prince seemed more out of temper now. "My
i88 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
crew are all Russians and I don't want any of
your — " He stopped; shifting lights played
ominously in his gaze; a few dissatisfied lines
on his face deepened. "I didn't ask you to
come aboard," he ended with an angry gesture.
"Sorry to intrude!'* Mr. Heatherbloom
spoke at random. "But I really couldn't help
it, don't you know. No time to ask permis^
His excellency frowned. Did he suspect in
these words an attempt at that insidious Amer-
ican humor he had often vainly endeavored to
fathom ? Mr. Heatherbloom gazed at him now
with seemingly innocent but really very atten-
A superb specimen of over six feet of mas-
culinity, the prince was picturesquely attired
in Russian yachting-garb while a Cossack cap
adorned a visage as bold and romantic as any
young woman might wish to gaze upon. And
gazing upon it himself — that rather stunning
picture the prince presented on his own yacht —
a sudden chill ran through Mr. Heatherbloom.
This titled paragon refused by Miss Dalrym-
THE CRISIS 189
pie? A feudal lord who made your dapper
French counts and Hungarian barons appear
but small fry indeed, by contrast! The light
of the sea seemed suddenly to dazzle Mr.
Heatherbloom. A wild thought surged through
his brain. Betty Dalrymple, bewildering, con-
fusing, made up of captivating inconsistencies,
had sometimes been accused by people of a ca-
pacity for doing the wildest things. Had she
for excitement — or any other reason— -eloped
with the prince ? Were they, perhaps, married
even now ? He dismissed the thought quickly.
All the circumstances pointed against this the-
ory ; his original one was — ^must be — correct.
"Well, now you are here, I suppose I've got
to keep you." The prince had again spoken.
"I suppose so," said Mr. Heatherbloom ab-
sently. He was studying now the near-by
cabin windows. One, with beautiful lace and
glimpses of pink beyond, caught his glance.
"What can you do?" Sharply.
"Oh, a lot of things!" Had the curtain
waved ? His heart thumped hard — ^he scarcely
saw the prince now.
I90 . A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Not manage a sail-boat, Fm convinced.'*
He forced himself to turn again, as through a
mist was aware of his excellency's sneering
countenance. "J^^g^^g from your recent per-
"That was hardly a fair test," Mr. Heather-
bloom replied anyhow. His thoughts were
keyed to a straining-point; his glance would
swerve; he strove his best to control it. She
was there — ^there — Shrouds and stays seemed
to sing the words. He would have sworn he
caught the flash of a white wrist.
"Why not?" Was the prince still examining,
questioning him ? Again a primal impulse was
suppressed, though his muscles were like whip-
cords. He yet compelled himself to endure
the ordeal. What was the query about ? Ah, he
"Well, you see, I must have lost my head."
It was not a bright answer but he did not care ;
it was the best that occurred.
The prince strode restlessly away a few
paces, then returned. "Were you ^ver at sea
THE CRISIS 191
"I once owned a y " Mr. Heatherbloom
paused — ^with an effort resumed his part and
a smile somewhat strained: "I once went on
a cruise on a gentleman's yacht." Some one
was in the state-room; was overhearing. His
head hummed; the refrain of the taut lines
^What as ? Cabin-boy, cook ?"
^Why, you see — " The prince certainly did
not see him — ^he was once more staring away,
over the dark water — "I acted in a good many
capacities. Kind of general utility, as it were.
Doing this, that, and the other!"
" *The other', I should surmise." Contempt-
Mr. Heatherbloom moved; the curtain had
moved again. "Where are you going?" he
asked a little wildly. "You see I might have
important business on shore." Foolish talk, —
yet it fitted in as well as anything.
The prince, for his part, did not at first seem
to catch the other's words; when he did he
laughed loudly, sardonically. "That is good;
excellent! You have 'important business'!'
192 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Yes; important/' repeated Mr. Heather-
bloom. "I — " He got no further. His eyes
met another's at the window, rested a moment
on a woman's face which then suddenly van-
ished. But not before he realized that she, too,
had seen him — seen and recognized. He had
caught in that fleeting instant, wonder, irony,
incredulity — s, growing understanding! Then
he heard a soft laugh — a musical but devilish
laugh — Sonia Turgeinov's I
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES
MR. HEATHERBLOOM stood as if
stunned, his face very pale. For the
instant all his suppressed emotion concentrated
on this woman — ^his evil genius — ^who had be-
trayed him before and who would betray him
again, now. He waited, breathing hard. Why
did she not appear? Why did not the blow
fall? He could not understand that interval
— nothing happening. Was she but playing
with him? The prince had abruptly turned;
apparently he had not heard that very low
laugh. Bored, no doubt, by the interview, he
had started to walk away, almost at the same
time Mr. Heatherbloom had caught sight of
the face at the window. As in a dream Mr.
Heatherbloom now heard his excellency's
brusk voice addressing a command to the offi-
194 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
cer, listened to the latter a moment or two later,
"Come along!" The officer's English was
labored and guttural.
Mr. Heatherbloom's eyes swung swiftly
from the near-by door through which he had
momentarily expected the woman to emerge.
Involuntarily he would have stepped after the
vanishing figure of the prince — what to do, he
knew not, when —
"Non, non" said the officer, intervening.
"Hees excellenz dislikes to be — importuned."
The last word cost the speaker an effort ; to the
listener it was hardly intelligible, but the offi-
cer's manner indicated plainly his meaning.
Mr. Heatherbloom managed to hold himself
still ; he seemed standing in the center of a vor-
tex. The prince had by this time gone; the
woman did not step forth. This lame and im-
potent conclusion was out of all proportion to
the seemingly inevitable. He could scarcely
realize it was he — ^actually he ! — who, after an-
other pause, followed the officer, with scant in-
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES 195
terest, hardly any at all, to some inferno where
flames leaped and hissed.
He could not but be aware of them, although
the voice telling him that he would remain here,
make himself useful, and, incidentally, work
his way among the stokers, sounded very far
off. He could have exclaimed scoffingly after
the disappearing officer, not anxious to linger
any longer than necessary here. Work his
way, indeed ! How long would he be permitted
to do so? When would he be again sent for,
and dealt with — in what manner?
He shoveled coal feverishly though the
irony of the task smote him, for in feeding the
insatiable beds, he was with his own hand help-
ing to furnish the energy that wafted her, he
would have served, farther and farther f^om
the home land. Every additional mile put be-
tween that shore and the boat, increased the
prince's sense of power. He was working
for his excellency and against her. In a
revulsion of feeling he leaned on his shovel,
whereupon a besooted giant of the lower re-
196 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
gions tapped his shoulder. This person —
foreman of the gang — ^pointed significantly
to the inactive implement. His brow was low,
brutish, and he had a fist like a hammer. Mr.
Heatherbloom lifted the shovel and looked at
the low brow but, fortunately, he did not act
on the impulse. It was as if some detaining
angel reached down into those realms of Pluto
and, at the critical moment, laid a white hand
where the big paw had touched him.
The young man resumed his toil. After all,
what did it matter? — some one would shovel
the stuff. That brief revolt had been spas-
modic, sentimental. Here where the heat was
almost intolerable and the red tongues sprang
like forked daggers before dulled eyes, brutal-
ity and hatred alone seemed to reign. The
prince might be the prodigal, free-handed gen-
tleman to his officers ; he was the slave-driver,
by proxy, to his stokers. He who dominated
in that place of torment had been an overseer
from one of the villages the prince owned;
these men were the descendants of serfs.
Once or twice Heatherbloom rather incoher-
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES 197
ently tried to engage one or two of them in
conversation, to* learn where the yacht was go-
ing — to Southern seas, across the Atlantic?—
but they only stared at him as if he were some
strange being quite beyond their ken. So he
desisted; of course they could not tmderstand
him, and, of course, they knew nothing he
wished to know. In this prison a sense of mv)-
tion and direction was as naught.
Fortunately Mr. Heatherbloom's muscles
were in good condition and there was not a
superfluous ounce on him, but he needed all
his energies to escape the fist and the boot that
day, to keep pace with the others. The per-
spiration poured from his face in sooty rivu-
lets ; he knew if he gave way what kind of con-
sideration to expect. He was being tested.
The foreman's eyes, themselves, seemed full of
sparks ; there was something tentative, expect-
ant in their curious gleam as they rested on
him. Heatherbloom now could hardly keep to
his feet; his own eyes burned. The flames
danced as if with a living hatred of him; in a
semi-stupor he almost forgot the sword, with-
198 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
out, that swung over him, held but by a thread
that might be cut any instant.
He could not have lasted many minutes more
when relief came; sodden sullen men took
the places. Heatherbloom staggered out with
his own herd; he felt the need of food as well
as rest. He groped his way somewhere — into
a dark close place; he found black-looking
bread — or, was it handed to him? He ate,
threw himself down, thought of her! — ^then
ceased to think at all. The sword, his com-
panions or specters no longer existed ior him.
It may be some spiritual part of him during
that physical coma, drew from a supermun-
dane source beatific drafts, for he awoke re-
freshed, his mind clear, even alert. He gazed
around; he, alone, moved. His companions
resembled so many bags of rags cast here and
there; only the snores, now diminuendo, then
crescendo, dispelled the illusion. A smoking
lamp threw a paucity of light and a good deal
of odor around them. Was it night? The
shadows played hide-and-seek in comers ; there
was no sound of the sea.
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES 199
Mr. Heatherbloom moved toward a door.
His pulses seemed to throb in rhythm with the
engines whose strong pulsations shook those
limp unconscious forms. He opened the iron
door and looked out. Only blackness, relieved
by a low-power electric light, met his gaze. He
crept from the place.
Why did not some one rise up to detain him ?
Surely he was watched. He experienced an
uncanny sense of being allowed to proceed just
so far, when invisible fingers would pounce
upon him, to hurl him back. The soot still lay
on his face ; he had seen no bucket and water.
At the mouth of a tunnel-like aperture, he hesi-
tated, but still no one sprang in front, or glided
up from behind to interfere with his progress.
He went on; a perpendicular iron ladder en-
abled him to reach an open space on the de-
serted lower deck. Another ladder led to the
upper deck. Could he mount it and still escape
detection ? And in that case — to what end ?
A bell struck the hour. Nine o'clock! He
counted the strokes. Much time had, indeed,
passed since leaving port The yacht, he
200 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
judged, should be capable of sixteen knots.
Where were they now ? And where was she —
in what part of the boat had they confined the
young girl ? Come what might, he would try
to ascertain. Creeping softly up the second
ladder, he peered around. Still he saw no one.
It was a dark night ; a shadow lay like a blanket
on the sea. He felt for his revolver — ^they had
not taken it from him — ^and started to make his
way cautiously aft, when something he saw
brought him to an abrupt halt.
A figure! — b, woman's!— or a young girl's?
— not far distant, looking over the side. The
form was barely discernible ; he could but make
out the vague flutterings of a gown. Was it
she whom he sought? How could he find out?
He dared not speak. She moved, and he real-
ized he could not let her go thus. It might be
an opportunity — ^no doubt they would suffer
the young girl the freedom of the deck. It
would be along the line of a conciliatory policy
on the prince's part to attempt to reassure her
as much as possible after the indignities she
had suffered. The watcher's eyes strained. She
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES 201
was going. He half started forward — ^to risk
all — to speak. His lips formed a name but did
not breathe it, for at that moment the swaying
of the boat had thrown a flicker of light on the
face and Mr. Heatherbloom drew back, the
edge of his ardor dulled.
The woman moved a few steps, this way and
that; he heard the swish of her skirts. Now
they almost touched him, standing motionless
where the shadows were deepest, and at that
near contact a blind anger swept over him,
against her — who held him in her power to
eliminate, when she would — When? What
was her cue? But, of course, she must have
spoken already — it was inconceivable other-
wise. Then why had the prince not acted at
once, summarily? His excellency was not one
to hesitate about drastic measures. Mr. Heath-
erbloom could not solve the riddle at all. He
could only crouch back farther now and wait.
Through the gloom he divined a new swift-
ness in her step, a certain sinuosity of move-
ment that suddenly melted into immobility. A
red spot had appeared close by, burned now on
202 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
blackness; it was followed by another's foot-
Step. A man, cigar in hand, joined her.
"Ah, Prince !" she said.
He muttered something Heatherbloom did
"What?'* she exclaimed lightly. "No better
His answer was eloquent. A flicker of light
he had moved toward revealed his face, gallant,
romantic enough in its happier moments, but
now distinctly unpleasant, with the stamp of
ancestral Sybarites of the Petersburg court
shining through the cruelty and intolerance of
The woman laughed. How the young man,
listening, detested that musical gargle! "Pa-
tience, your Highness!"
The red spark leaped in the air. "What have
"That depends on the standpoint — ^yours, or
hers," she returned in the same tone.
"It is always the same. She is — " The
spark described swift angry motions.
"What would you — ^at first?" she retorted
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES 203
kughingly. "After all that has taken place?
Mon Dieu! You remember I advised you
against this madness — I told you in the begin-
ning it might not all be like Watteau's master-
piece — the divine embarkation!"
"Bah!" he returned, as resenting her atti-
tude. "You were ready enough for your part."
She shrugged. "-EA bien? Our little Mos-
cow theatrical company had come to grief.
New York — cruel monster ! — did not want us.
C'en est fait de nous! Your Excellency met
and recognized me as one you had once been
presented to at a merry party at the Hermitage
in our beloved city of churches. Would I
play the bon camarade in a little affair of the
heart, or should I say une grande passion f
The honorarium offered was enormous for a
poor ill-treated player whose very soul was
ready to sing De Profundis. Did it tempt
her — forlorn, downhearted — "
She paused. Close by, the spark brightened,
dimmed— brightened, dimmed! Mr. Heather-
bloom bent nearer. "At any rate, she was hon-
est enough to attempt to dissuade you — ^in
204 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
vain! And then" — ^her voice changed — ^**since
you willed it so, she yielded. It sounded wild,
impossible, the plan you broached. Perhaps
because it did seem so impossible it won over
poor Sonia Turgeinov — ^she who had thrown,
her cap over the windmills. There would be
excitement, fascination in playing such a
thrilling part in real life. Were you ever
himgry. Prince?" She broke off. "What
an absurd question! What is more to the
point, tell me it was all well done — ^the device,
or excuse, of substituting another motor-car
for her own, the mad flight far into the
night, down the coast where save for that
mishap — But I met all difficulties, did I
not? And, believe me, it was not easy — ^to
keep your little American inamorata concealed
until the Nevski could be repaired and meet
us elsewhere than we had originally planned.
Dieu merci! I exclaimed last night when the
little spitfire was brought safely aboard." Mr.
Heatherbloom breathed quickly. Betty Dal-
rymple, then, had been with the woman in the
big automobile —
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES 205
"Why don't you praise me?" the woman
went on. "Tell me I well earned the douceur f
Although" — her accents were faintly scoffing —
"I never dreamed you would not afterward be
able to — ** Her words leaped into a new chan-
nel. "What can the child want? Est-ce-
qu'elle aime un autre f That might explain — "
An expletive smacking more of Montmartre
than of the Boulevard Capucines, fell from
the nobleman's lips. He brushed the ash
fiercely from his cigar. "It is not so — it won't
explain anything," he returned violently.
"Didn't I once have it from her own lips that,
at least, she was not — " He stopped. "Af c?n
Dieu! That contingency — "
Suddenly she again laughed. "Delicious!"
"Nothing. My own thoughts. By the way,
what has become of the man we picked up from
The prince made a gesture. "He's down
below — ^among the stokers. Why do you
"It is natural, I suppose, to take a faint
206 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
interest in a poor fisherman you've almost
Not I !" Brutally.
^No?" A smile, enigmatical, played around
her lips. "How droll r
"Heartless, then. But you great nobles are
that, a little, eh, mon ami?"
He shrugged and returned quickly to that
other more interesting subject.
"£//^ va m'epouserr he exclaimed violently.
"I will stake my life on it. She will; she
"Must !" The woman raised her hand. "You
say that to an American girl?"
"We're not at the finis yet !" An ugly crisp-
ness was manifest in his tones. "There are
ports and priests a-plenty, and this voyage is
apt to be a long one, unless she consents — "
"Charming man!" She spoke almost ab-
"Haven't I anything to offer? Diable! One
would think I was a beggar, not — am I ill-
looking, repugnant? Your sex," with a sus-
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES 207
picion of a sneer, "have not always found me
so. I have given my heart before, you will
say! But never as now! For she is a witch,
like those that come out of the reeds on the
Volga — ^to steal, alike, the souls of fisherman
and prince." He paused ; then went on mood-
ily. "I suppose I should have gone — allowed
myself to be dismissed as a boy from school.
*I have played with you; you have amused me;
you no longer do so. Adieu!' So she would
have said to me, if not in words, by implica-
tion. No, merci," he broke off angrily. "Tant
s'en faut! I, too, shall have something to say
— ^and soon — ^to-night — !"
He made a swift gesture, threw his cigar
into the sea and walked off.
"How tiresome!" But the words fell from
the woman's lips uneasily. She stretched her
lithe form and looked up into the night. Then
she, too, disappeared. Mr. Heatherbloom
stood motionless. She knew who he was and
yet she had not revealed his secret to the
prince. Because she deemed him but a pawn,
paltry, inconsequential? Because she wished
2o8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
to save the hot-headed nobleman from com-
mitting a deed of violence — a crime, even — ^if
he should learn?
The reason mattered little. In Mr. Heath-
erbloom's mind his excellency's last words-
all they portended — excluded now considera-
tion of all else. He gazed imcertainly in the
direction the nobleman had gone; suddenly
started to follow, stealthily, cautiously, when
another person approached. Mr. Heather-
bloom would have drawn back, but it was too
late — ^he was seen. His absence from the sto-
kers' quarters had been discovered; after
searching for him below and not finding him,
the giant foreman had come up here to look
around. He was swinging his long arms and
muttering angrily when he caught sight of his
delinquent helper. The man uttered a low
hoarse sound that augured ill for Mr. Heath-
erbloom. The latter knew what he had to
expect — ^that no mercy would be shown him.
He stepped swiftly backward, at the same time
looking about for something with which to
PRINCE BORIS, upon leaving Sonia Tur*
geinov, ascended to the officers' deck.
For some moments he paced the narrow con-
fines between the life-boats, then stepped into
"How is she headed?"
An officer standing near the man at the
helm, answered in French.
"This should bring us to" — ^the nobleman
mentioned a group of islands — "by to-morrow
The prince stared moodily. "Have you
sighted any other vessels?"
"One or two sailing-craft that have paid no
attention to us. The only boat that seemed
interested since we left port was the little
210 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
The nobleman stood as if he had not heard
this last remark. About to move away, he
suddenly lifted his head and listened. "What
was that?*' he said sharply.
"What, your Highness ?"
"I thought I heard a sound like a cry."
"I heard nothing, Excellency. No doubt it
was but the wind — it is loud here."
"No doubt." A moment the nobleman con-
tinued to listen, then his attention relaxed.
"Shall I come to your excellency later for
orders?" said the officer as the prince made
as if to turn away.
"It will not be necessary. If I have any I
can 'phone from the cabin — I do not wish to
be disturbed," he added and left.
"His excellency seems in rather an odd
mood to-night," the officer, gazing after, mut-
tered. "Nothing would surprise me — even if
he commanded us to head for the pole next.
Eh, Fedor?" The man at the helm made
answer, moving the spokes mechanically. Nor'
west, or sou' east — it was all one to him.
Prince Boris walked back; before a little
THE DESPOT 211
cabin that stood out like an afterthought, he
Click J click! The wireless! His excellency,
stepping nearer, peered through a window in
upon the operator, a slender young man —
French. A message was being received. Who
were they that thus dared span space to reach
out toward him? Ei! ei! **The devil has long
arms." He recalled this saying of the Siberian
priests and the mad Cossack answer : "There-
fore let us ride fast!" The swaying of the
yacht was like the rhythmic motion of his Arab
through the long grass beyond the Dnieper,
in that wild land where conventionality and
laws were as naught.
He saw the operator now lean forward to
write. The apparatus, which had become silent
again, spoke; the words came now fast, then
slow. Flame of flames! What an instru-
ment that harnessed the sparks, chased destiny
Itself with them! They crackled like whips.
The operator threw down his pen.
"Excellency!" He almost ran into the tall
motionless figure. "Pardon! A message —
212 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
they want to establish communication with the
Nevski — ^to learn if we picked up a man
from — ^"
"Have I not told you to receive all mes-
sages but to establish communication with no
one? MonDieu! If I thought — "
"Your excellency can depend upon me,"
Francois protested. "Did not my father serve
your illustrious mother, the Princess Alix, all
his life at her palace at Biarritz? Did not — "•
The prince made a gesture. "I can depend
upon you because it is to your advantage to
serve me well," he said dryly. "Also, because
if you didn't — " He left the sentence un-
finished but Francois understood ; in that part
of the Czar's kingdom where the prince came
from, life was held cheap. Besides, the lad
had heard tales from his father — a garrulous
Gascon — of his excellency's temper — ^those mad
outbursts even when a child. There was a trace
of the fierce, or half-insane temperament of
the great Ivan in the uncontrollable Strogareflf
line, so the story went. Francois returned to
hs8 instrument; his excellency's look swept
THE DESPOT 213
beyond. He heard now only the sound of the
sea — restless, in unending tumult. The wind
blew colder and he went below.
But not to rest! He was in no mood for
that. What then? He hesitated, at war with
himself. "Patience! patience!" What fool
advice from Sonia Turgeinov! He helped
himself liberally from a decanter on a Louis
Quinze sideboard in the beautiful salle d
^manger. The soft lights revealed him, and
him only, a solitary figure in that luxurious
place — -master of all he surveyed but not mas-
ter of his own thoughts. He could order his
men, but he could not order that invisible host.
They made hjm their servant. He took a few
steps back and forth ^ then suddenly encoun-
tered his own image reflected in a mirror.
"Boris, the superb"; "a tartar toreador of
hearts"; "Prince of roubles and kopecs"!
So they had jestingly called him in his own
warm-cold capital of the north, or in that
merry-holy city of four hundred churches.
His glance now swept toward a "distant door.
"Faint heart ne'er won — "
214 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Had he a faint heart? In the past — ^nol
Why, then, now? The passionate lines of the
poets sang in his ears — rhythms to the "little
dove", the "peerless white flower" ! He passed
a big hand across his brow. His heart-beats
were like the galloping hoofs of a horse, bear-
ing him whither? Gold of her hair, violet of
her eyes! Whither? The raving mad poets!
Wine seemed running in his blood; he moved
toward the distant door.
It was locked — of course ! For the moment
he had forgotten. Thrusting his hand into
his pocket, he drew out a key and unsteadily
fitted it. But before turning it he stood an
instant listening. No sound! Should he wait
until the morrow? Prudence dictated that
course; precipitancy, however, drove him on.
Now, as well as ever ! Better have an under-
standing! She would have to accede to his
plans, anyway — and the sooner, the better.
He had burned his bridges ; there was no draw-
ing back now —
He turned slowly the knob, applied a sudden
pressure to the door and entered.
THE DESPOT 215
A girl looked up and saw him. It was a
superbly decorated salon he had invaded. Soft-
hued rugs were on the floor and draperies of
cloth of gold veiled the shadows. Betty Dal-
rymple had been standing at a window, gazing
out at night — only night — or the white glim-
mer from an electric light that frosting the
rail, made the dark darker. She appeared
neither surprised nor perturbed at the ap-
pearance of the nobleman — doubtlessly she had
been expecting that intrusion. He stopped
short, his dark eyes gleaming. It was enough
for the moment just to look at her. Place and
circumstance seemed forgotten; the spirit of
an old ancestor— K>ne of the great khans —
looked out in his gaze. Passion and anger al-
ternated on his features; when she regarded
him like that he longed to crush her to him ; in-
stead, now, he continued to stand motionless.
"Pardon me," he could say it with a faint
smile. Then threw out a hand. "Ah, you are
beautiful!" All that was oriental in him
seemed to vibrate in the words.
Betty Dalrymple's answer was calculated to
21 6 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
dispel illusion and glamour. "Don't you think
we can dispense with superfluous words?*'
Her voice was as ice. "Under the circum-
stances," she added, full mistress of herself.
His glance wavered, again concentrated on
her, slender, warm-hued as an houri in the
ivory and gold palace of one of the old khans
— ^but an houri with disconcerting straightness
of gaze, and crisp matter-of-fact directness
of utterance. "You '^ are cruel; you have al-
ways been," he said. "I offer you all — every-
thing — ^my life, and you — "
"More superfluous words," said Betty Dal-
rymple in the same tone, the flash of her eyes
meeting the darkening gleam of his. "Put me
ashore, and as soon as may be. This farce
has gone far enough."
Tarce?" he repeated.
^You have only succeeded in making your-
self absurd and in placing me in a ridiculous,
position. Put me ashore and — "
"Ask of me the possible — ^the humanly pos-
sible — " He moved slightly nearer ; her figure
swayed from him.
THE DESPOT 217
"You are mad — ^mad — "
"Granted!" he said. "A Russian in love is
always a madman. But it was you who — **
"Don't !" she returned. "It is like a play—"
The red lips curved.
He looked at them and breathed harder.
Her words kindled anew the flame in his
breast. "A play? That is what it has been
for you. A mild comedy of flirtation!" The
girl flushed hotly. "Deny it if you can — that
you didn't flirt, as you Americans call it, out-
An instant Betty Dalrymple bit her lip but
she returned his gaze steadily enough. "The
adjective is somewhat strong. Perhaps I
might have done what you say, a little bit —
for which," with an accent of self-scorn, "I
am sorry, as I have already told you."
He brought together his hands. "Was it
just a 'little bit* when at Homburg you danced
with me nearly every time at the grand
duchess' ball? Sapristi! I have not forgotten.
Was it only a 'little bit' when you let me ride
with you at Pau — ^those wild steeplechases!
2i8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
— or permitted me to follow you to Madrid,
Nice, elsewhere ? — wherever caprice took you?"
"I asked you not to^"
"But with a sparkle in your eyes — z chal-
"I knew you for a nobleman ; I thought you
a gentleman," said Betty Dalrymple spirit-
Prince Boris made a savage gesture. "You
thought—" He broke off. "I will tell you
what you thought: That after amusing your-
self with me you could say, 'Va-t-en!' with a
wave of the hand. As if I were a clod like
those we once had under us! American girls
would make serfs of their admirers. Their
men," contemptuously, "are fools where their
women are concerned. You dismiss them;
they walk away meekly. Another comes.
Voila!" He snapped his fingers. "The game
A spark appeared in her eyes. "Don't you
think you are slightly insulting?" she asked in
a low tense tone.
"Is it not the truth? And more" — ^with
THE DESPOT 219
a harsh laugh — "I am even told that in your
wonderful country the rejected suitor — mon
Dieu! — often acts as best man at the wedding
— ^that the body-guard on the holy occasion
may be composed of a sad but sentimental
phalanx from the army of the refused. But
with us Russians these matters are different.
We can not thus lightly control affairs of the
heart; they control us, and — ^those who flirt,
as you call it, must pay. The code of our-
honor demands it — "
"Your honor?" It was Betty Dalrymple
who laughed now.
"You find that — ^me — very diverting?" slow-
ly. "But you will learn this is no jest."
She disdained to answer and started toward
a side door.
"No," he said, stepping between her and the
"Be good enough !" Miss Dalrymple's voice
sounded imperiously; her eyes flashed.
"One moment!" He was fast losing self-
control. "You hold yourself from me — refuse
to listen to me. Why ? Do you know what I
220 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
think?" Vehemently. The words of Sonia
Turgeinov — "Est ce qu'elle aime un autre?"
— ^flamed through his mind. "That there is
some one else; that there always was. And
that is the reason you were so gay — so very
^ay. You sought to forget — ''
A change came over Betty Dalrymple's face ;
she seemed to grow whiter — to become like
"You let me think there wasn't any one ; but
there was. That story of some one out west?
— ^you laughed it away as idle gossip. And I
believed you then — ^but not now. Who is he
— ^this American ?" With a half-sneer.
"There is no one! — there never has been!"
said the girl with sudden passion, almost
wildly. "I told you the truth."
"Ah," said Prince Boris. "You ^peak with
feeling. When a woman denies in a voice like
"Let me by!" The violet eyes were black
"Not yet!" He studied her — ^the cheeks
aflame like roses. "He shall never have you.
THE DESPOT 221
that some one — I will meet him and kill him
first — ^I swear it — "
"Let me by I"
"Carissima! Your eyes are like stars — ^the
stars that look down on one alone on the wild
steppe. Your lips are red flowers — ^poppies to
lure to destruction. They are cruel, but the
more beautiful — "
He suddenly reached out, took her in his
The cry on her lips was stifled as his sought
and almost touched them. At the same mo-
ment the door of the cabin, by which the prince
had entered, was abruptly thrown open.
THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED
HIS excellency turned. The intruder's
eyes were bloodshot from the glare
of the furnaces, his face black, unrecognizable,
from the soot. "What the dev — " began the
nobleman, as if doubting the evidence of his
He must have relaxed his hold, for the girl
tore herself loose. She did not pause, but run-
ning swiftly to the inner door she had just
turned toward, she hastily closed and locked
it behind her. As she disappeared Mr. Heath-
erbloom stopped an instant to gaze after her;
but the prince, with sagging jaw and amaze-
ment in his eyes, continued to regard only him.
"Who the — " he began again furiously.
The intruder's reply was a silent one. His
excellency would have stepped back but it was
too late. Mr. Heatherbloom's fist struck him
THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED 223
fairly on the forehead. Behind the blow was
the full impetus of the lithe form fairly
launched across the spacious cabin. The prince
went down, striking hard.
But he was up in a moment and, mad with
rage, made a rush. The other, quick, agile,
evaded him. The prince's muscles had lost
some of their hardness from high living and
he was, moreover, unversed in the great An-
glo-American pastime. He strove to seize his
aggressor, to strangle him, but his fingers failed
to grip what they sought. At the same time
Mr. Heatherbloom's arms shot up, down and
around, with marvelous precision, seeking and
finding the vulnerable spots. The prince soon
realized he was being badly punished and the
knowledge did not serve to improve his temper.
Had he only been able to get hold of his oppo-
nent he could have crushed him with his supe-
rior weight. A stationary table, however, in
the center of the room assisted Mr. Heather-
bloom in eluding the wild dashes, the while
he continued to lunge and dodge in a most
224 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Panting, the prince had, at length, to pause.
His face revealed several marks of the con-
test and the sight did not seem displeasing to
Mr. Heatherbloom. A quiet smile strained
his lips ; a cold satisfaction shone in the blood-
"Come on," he said, stepping a little from
The prince did not respond to the invitation.
His dazed mind was working now. Through
bruised lids he regarded the soot-masked in-
truder — a nihilist, no doubt! His excellency
had had one or two experiences with members
of secret societies in the past. There was a
nest of them in New Jersey. Though how one
of them could have managed to get aboard the
Nevski, he had no time just then to figure
out. The i^obleman looked over his shoulder
toward a press-button.
"Come on!" repeated Mr. Heatherbloom
The nobleman sprang, instead, the other
way, but he did not reach what he sought.
Mr. Heatherbloom's arm described an arc; the
THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED 225
application was made with expert skill and
effectiveness. His excellency swayed, relaxed,
and, this time, remained where he fell. Mr.
Heatherbloom locked the door leading into the
dining salle — the other, opening upon the deck,
he had already tried and found fastened — ^and
drew closer the draperies before the windows.
Then returning to the prince, he prodded gent-
ly the prostrate figure.
"Get up !" His excellency moved, then stag-
gered with difficulty to his feet and gazed
around. "You'll be able to think all right in a
moment," said Heatherbloom. "Sit down.
Only," in crisp tones, "I wouldn't move from
the chair if I were you. Because — " His ex-
cellency understood ; something bright gleamed
"Are you going to murder me ?" he breathed
hoarsely. His excellency's cousin — sl grand
duke — ^had been assassinated in Russia.
"I wouldn't call it that." The prince made
a movement. "Sit still." The cold object
pressed against the nobleman's temples. "If
ever a scoundrel deserved death, it is you."
226 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Plain talk! The prince could scarcely be-
lieve he heard aright ; yet the thrill of that icy-
touch on his forehead was real. His dark face
showed growing pallor. One may be brave
— heroic even, but one does not like to die like
a dog, to be struck down by a miserable un-
clean terrorist — ^hardly, from his standpoint,
a human being — unfortunately, however, some-
thing that must be dealt with — ^not at first,
tinder these circumstances, with force — but
afterward! Ah, then? The prince's eyes
seemed to grow smaller, to gleam with Tartar
What do yott want ?" he said.
^Several things." Mr. Heatherbloom's own
eyes were keen as darts. "First, you will give
orders that the Nevski is to change her course
— to head for the nearest American port."
Impossible !" the prince exclaimed violently.
^On the contrary, it is quite possible. We
have the fuel, as I can testify."
His excellency's thoughts ran riot; it was
difficult to collect them, with that aching head.
The fellow must be crazy; people of his class
THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED 227
usually are, more or less, though they gen-
erally displayed a certain method in their mad-
ness, while this one —
"I must remind your excellency that time
IS of every importance to me," murmured Mr.
Heatherbloom. "Hence, you will do what I
ask, at once, or — "
"Very well." His excellency spoke quickly
— ^too quickly. "I'll give the order." And,
rising, he started toward the door.
The prince did. Venom and apprehension
mingled in his look. Mr. Heatherbloom made
a gesture. "You will give the order; but here
— and as I direct." His voice was cold as the
gleaming barrel. "That 'phone," indicating
one on the wall, "connects with the bridge, of
course. Don't deny. It will be useless."
His excellency didn't deny; he had a sus-
picion of what was coming.
"You will call up the officer in command
on the bridge and give him the order to make
at once for the nearest American port. You
will ask him how far it is and how soon we
228 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
can get there ? Beyond that, you will say noth-
ing, make no explanations, or utter a single
"Very well." The prince, seemingly ac-
quiescent, but with a dangerous glitter in his
eyes, moved toward the telephone.
The nobleman stopped with his hand near
a receiver. His fingers trembled.
"You will speak in French. A syllable of
Russian, just one, and — ^" Mr. Heather-
bloom's expression left no doubt as to his
"Dog!" His excellency's swollen face be-
came the hue of paper. An instant he seemed
about to spring — then managed to control him-
self. "But why should I not speak in Russian?
My officers know no French."
"A lie! Nearly all Russian officers speak
French. I happen to know yours do." A
newspaper article had made the statement and
he did not doubt it. "Anyhow, you give the
order in French and we'll see what happens."
The blood surged in the nobleman's face.
THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED 229
The fierce desire to avenge himself at once
on this man who threw the lie at him —
august, illustrious — ^mingled, however, with yet
another feeling — one of bewilderment The
fellow had spoken these last words in French,
and choice French at that. His accents had all
the elegance of the Faubourg Saint Germain.
"Quick!" The decision in the intruder's
manner was unmistakable. "I have wasted all
the time I intend to. My finger trembles on
The prince, perforce, was quick. The tele-
phone of foreign design, had two receivers.
His excellency took one. Mr. Heatherbloom
reached for the other and held it to his ear
with his left hand. His right, holding the
weapon, was behind the prince, as the latter
poignantly realized. Ill-suppressed rage made
his excellency's tones now slightly wavering:
'Are you there, M. le Capitaine?"
'Steady !" Mr. Heatherbloom whispered
wamingly in his excellency's free ear, empha-
sizing the caution with a significant pressure
from his right hand. At the same time he
230 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
caught the answer from afar — ^a deferential
''Oui, Excellence." There was, fortunately,
on the wires a singing sound that would serve
to drown evidences of emotion in the noble-
man's tone. "Excellence wishes to speak with
me?" went on the distant voice.
"I do." The prince breathed fast — ^paused.
"You will change the boat's course, and — "
He spoke with difficulty. A warmer breath
fanned his cheek; he felt a sensation like ice
on the back of his neck. "Make for the near-
est American port. How far is it?" Mr.
Heatherbloom's prompting whisper was audi-
ble only to his excellency.
"Five hours," came over the wire.
Mr. Heatherbloom experienced a thrill of
satisfaction. They were nearer the coast than
he had supposed. He knew the yacht had
been taking a southerly course; he had con-
sidered that when the bold idea came to act
as he was doing. Possibly the prince had been
driven out of the last port by the publicity
attendant upon Mr. Heatherbloom's presence
THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED 231
there, before certain needed repairs had been
completed. These, Mr. Heatherbloom now
surmised, it was his excellency's intention to
have attended to in some island harbor before
proceeding with a longer voyage.
Only five hours!
"Grood-by!" now burst from the nobleman
so violently that Mr. Heatherbloom's momen-
tary exultation changed to a feeling of appre-
hension. But M. le Capitaine had evidently
become accustomed to occasional explosive
moments from his august patron. He con-
cerned himself only with the command, not
the manner in which it was given.
"Eh? Mon Dieu! Do I hear your excel-
lency aright ?" His accents expressed surprise,
but not of an immoderate nature. He, no
doubt, received many arbitrary and unexpected
orders when his excellency went a-cruising.
"Repeat the order." Heatherbloom's whis-
per seemed fairly to sting the nobleman's dis-
The latter did repeat — savagely — jerkily,
but the humming wires tempered the tones.
232 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
M. le Capitaine understood fully; he said as
much; his excellency should be obeyed — Mr.
Heatherbloom pushed the nobleman's head
abruptly aside, covering the mouthpiece with
his hand. Perhaps he divined that irresistible
malediction about to fall from his excellency's
"Hang it up," he said.
The nobleman's breath was labored but he
placed his receiver where it belonged; Mr.
Heatherbloom did likewise. Both now stepped
back. Upon the prince's brow stood drops of
perspiration. The yacht had already slowed
up and was turning. His excellency listened.
"May I ask how much longer you are de-
sirous of my company here?"
"Oh, yes ; you may ask."
The boat had begun to quiver again; she
was going at full speed once more. Only now
she headed directly for the land Mr. Heather-
bloom wished to see. Five hours to an Amer-
ican port ! Then ? He glanced toward the door
through which the girl had disappeared. Since
that moment he had caught no sound from
THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED 233
her. Had she heard, did she know anything
of what was happening — ^that the yacht was
now turned homeward? He dared not linger
on the thought. The prince was watching him
with eyes that seemed to dilate and contract
A moment's carelessness, the briefest cessation
of watchfulness would be at once seized upon
by his excellency, enabling him to shift the
advantage. The young man met that expect-
"Sorry to seem officious, but if your excel-
lency will sit down once more? Not here —
over there!" Indicating a stationary arm-chair
before a desk in a recess of the room.
The prince obeyed; he had no alternative.
The fellow must, of course, be a madman, the
prince reiterated in his own mind unless —
"I told your excellency I had no wish for a
long sea voyage." A mocking voice now made
The nobleman started, and looked closer; a
mist seemed to fall from before his gaze. He
recognized the fellow now — ^the man they had
run down. The shock of that terrible expe-
234 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
rience, the strain of the disaster, had turned
the fellow's brain. That would explain every-
thing — this extraordinary occurrence. There
was nothing to do but to humor him for the
moment, though it was awkward — devilish ! —
or might soon be! — if this game should be
continued much longer.
Mr. Heatherbloom glided silently toward
the hangings near the alcove. What now ? — ^the
prince asked with his eyes. Mr. Heatherbloom
imloosened from a brass holder a silk cord as
thick as his thumb.
"If your excellency will permit me — " He
stepped to the prince's side.
That person regarded the cord, strong as
^What do you mean?" burst from him.
It is quite apparent."
An oath escaped the prince's throat ; regard-
less of consequences, he sprang to his feet
A desperate determination gleamed in his
eyes. This crowning outrage! He, a noble-
man ! — ^to suffer himself to be bound ignomin-
THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED 235
lously by some low polisson of a raffish mush-
room country! It was inconceivable, "/o-
mctisr he repeated.
"Ah, well!" said Mr. Heatherbloom resign-
edly. "Nevertheless, I shall make the attempt
to do what I propose, and if you resist — "
"You will assassinate me?" stammered the
"We won't discuss how the law might char-
acterize the act. Only," the words came quick-
ly, "don't waste vain hopes that I won't as-
sassinate you, if it is necessary. I never waste
powder, either — can clip a coin every time.
One of my few accomplishments." Enigmat-
ically. "And" — as the prince hesitated one
breathless second — "I can get you straight,
first shot, surej."
His excellency believed him. He had heard
how in this bizarre America a single man some-
times "held up" an entire train out west and
had his own sweet way with engineer, con-
ductor and passengers. This madman, on the
slightest provocation now, was evidently pre-
pared to emulate that extraordinary and unde-
236 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
sirable type. What might he not do, or at-
tempt to do? The nobleman's figure relaxed
slightly, his lips twitched. Then he sank back
once more into the strong solid chair at the
"Good," said Mr. Heatherbloom. A cold
smile like a faint ripple on a mountain lake
swept his Ups. "Now we shall get on faster."
MR. HEATHERBLOOM, with fingers
deft as a sailor's, secured the prince.
The single silken band did not suffice; other
cords, diverted from the ornamental to a like
practical purpose, were wound around and
around his excellency's legs and arms, holding
him so tightly to the chair he could scarcely
move. Having completed this task, Mr.
Heatherbloom next, with vandal hands, whip-
ped from the wall a bit of priceless embroidery,
threw it over the nobleman's head and, in spite
of sundry frenzied objections, effectually
gagged him. Then drawing the heavy cur-
tains so that they almost concealed the bound
figure in the dim recess, the young man stepped
once more out into the salon.
How still it suddenly seemed! His glance
238 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
swept toward the door through which the
young girl had vanished. Why had he heard
no sound from her? Why did she not appear
now? She must have caught something of
what had been going on. He went swiftly to
No answer. He rapped again — ^louder —
then tried the door. It resisted ; he shook it.
"Betty!" Yes; he called her that in the
alarm and excitement of the moment. "It's —
it's all right. Open the door."
Again that hush -7- nothing more. Mr.
Heatherbloom pulled rather wildly at the lock
of hair over his brow; then a sudden frenzy
seemed to seize him. He launched himself
forward and struck fairly with his shoulder —
once — ^twice. The door, at length, yielded with
a crash. He rushed in — fell to his knees.
"Betty! Oh, Betty!" For the moment he
stared helplessly at the motionless form on the
floor, then, lifting the girl in his arms, he laid
her on a couch. One little wliite hand swung
limp; he seized it with grimy fingers. It was
THE COUP 239
oddly cold, and a shiver went over him. He
felt for her pulse — ^her heart — at first caught no
answering throb, for his own heart was beat-
ing so wildly. The world seemed to swim-
then he straightened. The filmy dress, not so
white now in spots, had fluttered beneath her
throat. He gazed rapturously.
"Itll be all right," he said again. "Dar-
He could say it now, when she couldn't
hear. "Darling! Darling!" he repeated. It
constituted his vocabulary of terms of endear-
ment. He felt the need of no other. She lay
like a lily. He saw nothing anomalous in
certain stains of soot, even on the wonderful
face where his had unconsciously touched it
when he had raised her and strained her to him
one mad instant in his arms. In fact, he did not
see those stains; his eyes were closed to such
details — and the crimson marks, too, on her
gown! His knuckles were bleeding; he was
unaware of it. He was not, outwardly, a very
presentable adorer but he became suddenly
a most daring one. His grimy hand touched
240 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
the shining hair, hal f -unbound ; he raised one
of the marvelous tresses — ^his hungry lips
swept it lightly — or did he but breathe a divine
fragrance? By some inner process his spirit
seemed to have come that instant very near
to hers. He forgot where he was; time and
space were annihilated.
He was brought abruptly back to the living
present by a sudden knock at the door with-
out, which he had locked after entering that
way from the deck. Mr. Heatherbloom lis-
tened; the person, whoever he was, on re-
ceiving no response, soon went away. Had
they discovered what had happened to the
foreman of the stokers whom Heatherbloom
had struck down with a heavy iron belaying-
pin? The man had attacked him with mur-
derous intent. In defending himself, Heath-
erbloom believed he had killed the fellow. The
chance blow he had delivered with the formid-
able weapon had been one of desperation and
despair. It had been more than a question of
his life or the other's. Her fate had been
involved in that critical moment. He had
THE COUP 241
dragged the unconscious figure to the shad-
ows behind a life-boat. They would not be
likely to stumble across the incriminating evi-
dence while it was dark. Nor was it likely
that the foreman's absence below would cause
the men to look for him. The overworked
stokers would be but too pleased to escape, for
a spell, their tyrannous master.
Mr. Heatherbloom, standing near the thresh-
old of the dressing-room, glanced now toward
the little French clock without. Over four
hours yet to port! How slowly time went.
He turned out all the lights, save one shaded
lamp of low candle-power in the cabin; then
he did the same in the room where the girl
was. No one must peer in on him from un-
expected places. He looked up, and saw that
the skylights were covered with canvas. Mr.
Heatherbloom remained in the salon ; he needed
to continue master of his thoughts. In the
dressing-room he had just now forgotten him-
self. That would not do; he must concentrate
all his faculties, every energy, to bringing this
coup, bom on the inspiration of the moment,
242 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
to a successful conclusion. Desperate as his
plan was, he believed now he would win out.
By the vibrations he knew the boat was still
steaming full speed on her new course. The
conditions were all favorable. They would
reach port before dawn; at break of day the
health officers would come aboard. And after
The telephone suddenly rang. Should he
answer that imperious summons? Perhaps the
man who had just knocked at the door had been
one of the officers, or the captain himself, come
in person to speak with his excellency about the
unexpected change in the boat's course, or some
technical question or difficulty that might have
arisen in consequence thereof.
He looked toward the recess; between the
curtains he caught sight of the prince's eyes
and in the dim light he fancied they shone
with sudden hope — expectancy. The noble-
man must have heard the crashing of the door
to the dressing-room. What he had thought
was of no moment. A viper ish fervor replaced
THE COUP 243
that other brief expression in his excellency's
Once more that metallic call — ^harsh, loud,
as not to be denied ! Mr. Heatherbloom made
up his mind; perhaps all depended on his de-
cision ; he would answer. Stepping across the
salon, he took down the receivers. The sing-
ing on the wires had been pronounced; he
could imitate the prince's autocratic tones, and
the person at the other end would not dis-
cover, in all likelihood, the deception.
"Well?" said Mr. Heatherbloom loudly,
in French. "What do you want? Haven't I
given orders not to be—"
His voice died away ; he nearly dropped the
receivers. A woman answered. Moreover,
the wires did not seem to "sing" so much now.
Sonia Turgeinov's tones were transmitted in
all their intrinsic, flute-like lucidity.
"What has happened, your Excellency?" she
"Happened?" the young man managed to
244 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Then why has the yacht's course been
changed? I can tell by the stars from my
cabin window that we are not headed at all in
the same direction we were going — '*
He tried to speak unconcernedly: "Just
changed for a short time on account of some
reefs and the currents ! Go to sleep," he com-
manded, "and leave the problems of navigation
"Sleep? Mon Dieu! If I only could—"
Mr. Heatherbloom dared talk no more, so
rang off. The prince might have been capable
of such bruskness. Sonia Turgeinov had not
seemed to suspect anything wrong; she had
merely been inquisitive, and had taken it for
granted the nobleman was at the other end of
the wire. Mr. Heatherbloom strode restlessly
to and fro. Seconds went by — ^minutes. He
counted the tickings of the clock — ^suddenly
The young girl stood in the doorway — ^he
had heard and now saw her. She came for-
ward quickly, though uncertainly; in the dim
THE COUP 245
light she looked like a shadow. He drew in
"Miss — *' he began, then stopped.
Her gaze rested on him, almost indistin-
guishable on the other side of the salon.
"What does it mean ? Who are you?" She
spoke intrepidly enough but he saw her slender
Who was he? About to explain in a rush
of words, Mr. Heatherbloom hesitated. To
her he had been, of course, but a conspira-
tor of the Russian woman in the affair. Miss
Van Rolsen had deemed him culpable; the
detective had been sure of it. Would Miss
Dalrymple think more leniently of him than
mere tmprejudiced people, those who knew
less of him than she? His very presence on
the yacht, although somewhat inexplicably
complicated in recent occurrences, was per se
a primal damning circumstance. But she
spared him the necessity of answering. She
divined now from his blackened features what
his position on the yacht must be. He was
only a poor stoker, but —
246 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"You are a brave fellow," cried Betty Dal-
rymple, "and I'll not forget it -You inter-
fered — I remember — "
"A brave fellow !" It was well he had not
betrayed himself. Let her think that of him,
for the moment. A poignant mockery lent
pain to the thrill of her words.
You rushed in, struck him. What then?"
He won't play the bully and scoundrel
again for some time !" burst from Mr. Heath-
erbloom. His tones were impetuous; once
more he seemed to see what he had seen during
those last moments on the deck — ^when he had
been unable to restrain himself longer — ^and
had yielded to a single hot-blooded impulse.
"The big brute !" he muttered.
She seemed to regard him in slight surprise.
"Where is he? What has become of him?"
"He is safe—"
"You mean you conquered him, beat him —
you ?" Her voice thrilled.
"You bet I did," said Mr. Heatherbloom
with the least evidence of incoherency. Her
words had been verbal champagne to him. "I
THE COUP 247
gave him the dandiest best licking — " He
stopped. Perhaps he realized that his explana-
tion was beginning to seem slightly tinged with
too great evidence of personal satisfaction if
not boastfulness. "You see I had a gun," he
murmured rather apologetically.
"But," said the girl, coming nearer, "I don't
He started to meet that advance, then backed
away a little. "I've got him safe, where he
can't move, or bother you any more." Mr.
Heatherbloom glanced over his shoulder; but
he did not tell her where he "had him". "And
the yacht's going back to the nearest American
port," he couldn't help adding, impetuously,
to reassure her.
"Going back? Impossible!" Wonder, in-
credulity were in her voice.
"It's true as shooting. Bet — "
She was too bewildered to notice that slight
slip of the tongue. "It's a fact, miss," he
added more gruffly.
"But how?" Her tones betrayed reticence
in crediting the miracle. Yet this blackened
248 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
figure must have prevailed over the prince or
the latter would not have so mysteriously dis-
appeared. "How did it happen ?"
"Well, you see I just happened around."
"You, a stoker?"
Stokers, he was reminded by her tone, did
not usually "happen around" on decks of pala-
tial private yachts. He must seek a different,
more definite explanation. He thought he saw
a way ; he could let Tier know part of the truth.
"The fact is, I was looking for this boat at the
last port she stopped at. I had cause to think
you would be on her. Couldn't stop the yacht
from going to sea, for reasons too numerous
to mention, so I just slipped out and came
aboard in a kind of disguise — "
"A disguise? Then you are a detective?"
"I think I may truthfully say I am, but in
a sort of private capacity. When a really
important case occurs, it interests me. Now
this was an important case, and — and it inter-
ested me." He hardly knew what he was say-
ing, her eyes were so insistent. Betty Dal-
rymple had always had the most disconcerting
THE COUP 249
eyes. "Because, you see, your — ^your aunt was
so anxious — ^and" — ^with a flash of inspira-
tion — "the reward was a big one."
"The reward ? Of course." Her voice died
away. "You hoped to get it. That is the
reason — ^"
He let his silence answer in the afiirmative ;
he felt relieved now. She had not recognized
him — ^yet. In the recess behind the draperies
the chair in which his excellency was bound,
creaked. Was he struggling to release him-
self? Mr. Heatherbloom had faith in the
knots and the silken cords. The girl turned
"Don't you think it would be better" — ^he
spoke quickly — "for you to return to your
cabin? Til let you know when I want you
"But if I prefer to stay here? May I not
turn on the lights ?"
"Not for worlds !" Hastily. "It is neces-
sary they should not see me. If they did — '*
He was obliged to explain a little of the real
situation to her; of the stratagem he had em-
2SO A MAN AND HIS MONEY
ployed. This he did in few words. She lis-
tened eagerly. The mantle of the common-
place, which to her eyes had fallen a few mo-
ments before on his shoulders, became at least
partly withdrawn. She divined the great
hazard, the danger he had faced — was facing
now. Detective or not, it had been daringly
done. Her voice, with a warm thrill in it,
said as much. Her eyes shone like stars. She
came of a liv^ virile stock, from men and
women who had done things themselves.
"If only I, too, had a weapon!" she said,
leaning toward him. "In case they should
discover — "
"No, no. It wouldn't do at all."
"Why not?" the warm lips breathed. "I
can shoot. Some one once taught me — "
She stopped short. A chill seemed descend-
ing. "You were saying — " he prompted
But she did not answer. The sweep of her
hair made a shadowy veil around her; his
mind harked swiftly back. She had always
had wondrous hair. It had taken two big
THE COUP 2SI
braids to hold it; most girls could get their
hair in one braid. He had been very proud,
for her, of those two braids — once — with their
blue or pink ribbons that had popped below the
edge of her skirts. He continued to see blue
and pink ribbons now.
Both were for some time silent. At length
she stirred — ^seated herself. Mr. Heatherbloom
mechanically did likewise, but at a distance
from her. He tried not to see her, to become
mentally oblivious of her presence, to concen-
trate again solely on the matter in hand. A
long, long interval passed. Chug! chug! the
engines continued to grind. How far away
they sounded. Another sound, too, at length
broke the stillness — a stealthy footfall on the
deck. It sent him at once softly to the win-
dow ; he gazed out. She followed.
"Are — are we getting anywhere near port ?"
He did not tell her that it was not port he
was looking for so soon as he .gazed out search-
ingly into the night.
"What is it?" She had drawn the curtain
a little. Her shoulder touched him.
252 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Suddenly his arm swept her back. "What
do you mean" — ^he turned on her sternly — ^''by
drawing that curtain ?"
"Was any one there ?"
"Any one — " he began almost fiercely;
then paused. The figure he had seen in that
flash looked like that of the foreman of the
stokers. In that case, then, the fellow was not
dead; he had recovered. Through a mistaken
sense of mercy • Mr. Heatherbloom had not
slipped the seemingly lifeless body over the
side. Now he, and she, too, were likely to pay
dearly for that clemency. Bitterly he clenched
his hands. Had the man caught a glimpse of
him at the window ? A flicker of electric light,
without, shone on it.
The girl started again to speak. "Hush!"
He drew her back yet farther. Above, some
one had raised the corner of the canvas cover-
ing the skylight. It was too dark, however, for
the person, whoever it might be, to discern very
much below. Neither Mr. Heatherbloom nor
his companion now moved. The tenseness and
THE COUP 253
excitement of the moment held them. The girl
breathed quickly; her hand was at his sleeve.
Even in that moment of suspense and peril he
was conscious of the nearness of her — the lithe
young form so close ! ^
The creaking of the chair in the recess was
again heard. Had his excellency caught sight
of the person above ? Was he endeavoring to
attract attention? And could the observer at
the skylight discern the nobleman ? It seemed
unlikely. The glass above did not appear to
extend quite over the recess. Through a slight
opening of the draperies Mr. Heatherbloom,
however, could see his captive and noticed he
seemed to be trying to tip back farther in his
chair, to reach out behind with his bound hands
— ^toward what? The young man abruptly
realized, and half started to his feet — ^but not
in time! The chair went over backward and
came down with a crash, but not before his ex-
cellency's fingers had succeeded in touching an
electric button near the desk. A flood of light
filled the place.
254 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
It was answered by a shout — a signal for
other voices. Fragments of glass fell around ;
a figure dropped into the salon; others fol-
lowed. The door to the deck yielded to force
from without Mr. Heatherbloom, though
surprised and outnumbered, struggled as best
he might; his weapon rang out; then, as they
pressed closer, he defended himself with the
butt of his revolver and his fist
There could be but one end to the imequal
contest. The girl — a helpless spectator — real-
ized that, though she could with difficulty per-
ceive what took place, it was all so chaotic. She
tried to draw nearer, but bearded faces inter-
vened; rough hands thrust her back. She
would have called out but the words would not
come. It was like an evil dream. As through
a mist she saw one among many who had en-
tered from the deck — a giant in size. He car-
ried an oaken bar in his hand and now stole
sidewise with murderous intent toward the
single figure striving so gallantly.
"No, no!" Betty Dalrymple's voice came
THE COUP 2S5
back to her suddenly ; she exclaimed wildly, in-
But the foreman of the stokers raised the
bar, waited. He found his opportunity; his
MR. HEATHERBLOOM regained con-
sciousness, or semi-consciousness, in an
ill-smelling place. His first impulse was to
raise his hands to his aching head, but he could
not do this on account of two iron bands that
held his wrists to a stanchion. His legs, too,
he next became vaguely aware, were fastened
by a similar contrivance to the deck. He closed
his eyes, and leaned back; the throbbings
seemed to beat on his brain like the angry surf,
smiting harder and harder until nature at
length came to his relief and oblivion once
more claimed him.
How long it was before he again opened his
eyes he could not tell. The shooting throes
were still there but he could endure them now
and even think in an incoherent fashion. He
AND THEN— 257
gazed around. The light grudgingly admitted
by a small port-hole revealed a bare prison-like
cell. Realization of what it all meant, his be-
ing there, swept over him, and, in a semi-deliri-
ous frenzy, he tugged at his fastenings. He
did not succeed in releasing himself; he only
increased the hurtling waves of pain in his
head. What did she think of her valiant res-
cuer now, he who had raised her hopes so high
but to dash them utterly ?
Some one, some time later, brought him wa-
ter and gave him bread, releasing his wrists
while he ate and fastening them again when
he had finished. The hours that seemed days
passed. During that time he half thought he
had another visitor but was not sure. The de-
lirium had returned ; he strove to think lucidly,
but knew himself very light-headed. He im-
agined Sonia Turgeinov came to him, that she
looked down on him.
**Mon Dieu! It is my canine keeper; the
man with the dogs. What a lame and impotent
conclusion for one so clever! I looked for
. something better from you, my intrepid friend.
2s8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
who dared to come aboard in that thrilling
manner — ^who managed to follow me, through
what arts, I do not know. How are the mighty
Her tone was low, mocking. He disdained
"Really, I am disaj^inted, after my not
having betrayed who you were to the prince."
"Why didn't you?" he said.
She laughed. "Perhaps because I am an
artist, and it seemed inartistic to intervene-^to
interrupt the action at an inopportune moment
— ^to stultify what promised to be an imusually
involved complication. When first I saw and
recognized you on the Nevski, it was like one
of those divine surprises of the master dram-
atist, M. Sardou. Really, I was indebted for
the thrill of it. Besides, had I spoken, the
prince might have tossed you overboard; he
is quite capable of doing so. That, too, would
have been inartistic, would have turned a com-
edy of love into rank melodrama."
Rank nonsense! Of course such a conversa-
tion could not be real. But he cried out in the
AND THEN— 259
dream: "What matter if his excellency had
tossed me overboard ? What good am I here ?'*
To her, you mean?'
To her, of course." Bitterly.
The vision's eyes were very bright ; her plas-
tic, rather mature form bent nearer. He felt a
cool hand at the bandage, readjusting it about
his head. That, naturally, could not be. She
who had betrayed Betty Dalrymple to the
prince would not be sedulous about Mr. Heath-
"Foolish boy!" she breathed. Incongruous
solicitude ! "Who are you ? No common dog-
tender— of that I am sure. What have you
"There! there!" said half-soothingly that
immaterial, now maternal visitant. *'Never
"How is she ? Where is she ?" he demanded,
"She is wellj and is going to be, very soon
now, the prince's bride."
260 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Don't let his excellency hear you say so in
that tone. He thinks you only a detective, not
an ardent, though secret wooer yourself. The
Strogareffs brook no rivals," she laughed, "and
he is already like a madman. I should tremble
for your life if he dreamed — "
"Help me to help her—" he said. "It will
be more than worth your while. You did this
She shook her head. "I have descended very
low, indeed, but not so low as that. Like the
bravos of old" — ^was it she who spoke bit-
terly now? — "Sonia Turgeinov is, at least,
true to him who has given her the little
douceur. No, no ; do not look to me, my young
and Quixotic friend. You have only yourself
to depend upon — "
"Myself!" He felt the sharp iron cut his
flesh. That seemed indubitabler-no mere fan-
tasy of pain but pain itself.
"Let well enough alone," she advised. "The
prince will probably put you ashore somewhere
. — ^I'U beg him to do that. He'll be better na-
tured after — after the happy event," she
AND THEN— 261
laughed. "Perhaps, he'll even slip a little purse
into your pocket though you did hurt a few of
his men. Not that he cares much for them—
mere serfs. You could find a little consola-
tion, eh ? With a bottle, perhaps. Besides, I
have heard these island girls have bright
eyes." He could not speak. "Are you ada-
mant, save for one?" she mocked. "Content
yourself with what must be. It is a good match
for her. The little fool might scour the world
for a better one. As for you — ^your crazy infat-
uation — ^what have you to offer? Tris drole!
Do dog-tenders mate with such as she? No;
destiny says to her, be a grand lady at the court
of Petersburg. I am doing her a great favor.
Many American families would pay me well, I
She paused. "You will smile at it all, some
day, my friend. You played and lost. At least,
it was daringly done. You deceived even me
over the telephone. 'Go to sleep,* forsootli!
You commanded in a right princely tone. And
An instant her hand lingered once more near
262 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
the bandage. It was ridiculous, that tentative,
almost sympathetic touch. Then, she — Si fig-
ment of disordered imagination — ^receded ;
there was no doubt about his light-headedness
They sent again bread and water, and, after
what seemed an intolerable interval, he found
himself eating with zest ; he wa^ exceedingly
hungry. He also began to feel mentally nor-
mal, although his thoughts were the reverse of
agreeable. Days had, no doubt, gone by. He
chafed at this enforced inaction, but some-
times through sheer weariness fell into a sem-
blance of natural sleep despite the sitting pos-
ture he was obliged to maintain. On one such
occasion he was abruptly awakened by a light
thrown suddenly on his face. He would have
started to his feet but the fetters restrained
It was night ; a lantern, held by a hand that
shook slightly, revealed a face he did not know-
He felt assured, however, of his mental lucid-
ity at the moment. The new-comer, though a
stranger, was undoubtedly flesh and blood.
AND THEN— 263
"What do you want ?" said the prisoner.
"A word with you, Monsieur." The speaker
had a smooth face and dark soulful eyes. His
manner was both furtive and constrained. He
looked around as if uncomfortable at finding
himself in that place.
"Well, I guess you can have it I can't get
away," muttered the manacled man.
"Miss Dalrymple sent me."
Mr. Heatherbloom's interest was manifest;
he strove to suppress outward signs of it.
"What— what for?"
"She wanted to make sure you were not
The prisoner did not answer; his emotion
was too great at the moment to permit his do-
ing so. She was in trouble, yet she considered
the poor detective. That was like her —
straight as a string — ^true blue—
The visitor started to go. "Hold on!" said
Mr. Heatherbloom, whose ideas were surging
fast. This youth had managed to come here
at her instigation. Had she made a friend of
him, an ally ? He did not appear an heroic one,
264 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
but he was, no doubt, the best that had offered.
Betty Dalrymple was not one to sit idly; she
would seek ways and means. She was clever,
knew how to use those violet eyes. (Did not
Mr. Heatherbloom himself remember?) Who
was he — ^this nocturnal caller? Not an officer
— ^he was too young. Cabin-boy, perhaps?
More likely the operator. Mr. Heatherbloom
had noticed that the yacht was provided with
the wireless outfit.
"How long have I been here ?" he now asked
"It is three days since monsieur was knocked
on the head."
Mr. Heatherbloom looked down. "Three
days? Well, it cost me a fortune," he sighed,
remembering the role of detective that had
been thrust upon him. "I could have stood for
the sore head."
The other had his foot at the threshold but
he lingered. "How much of a fortune ? What
was the reward?" He strove to speak care-
lessly but there was a trace of eagerness in
AND THEN— 265
"You mean what is it?" returned Mr. Heath-
erbloom, and named an amount large enough
to make the soulful eyes open. "And to
think," watchfully, "one little message to the
shore might procure for the sender such a
"Monsieur!" Indignantly. "You think that
"Then you are the wireless operator?"
"I was." Francois spoke more calmly. "His
excellency has had the apparatus destroyed.
He will take no chances of other spies or de-
tectives being aboard who might understand its
The prisoner hardly heard the last words;
for the moment he was concerned only with his
disappointment A sudden hope had died al-
most as soon as it had been bom. "Too bad !"
he murmured. Then — "How did you get
"The third officer has the keys and our cab-
ins are adjoining. I seized an oiq)ortune mo-
ment, slipped in, and took a wax impression of
what I wanted. Then with an old key and a
266 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
file — Monsieur is a great detective, perhaps,
but I, too," with Gaston boastfuhiess, "can as-
pire to a little cleverness."
"A great deal," said Mr. Heatherbloom, the
while his brain worked rapidly. Betty Dalrym-
ple must have paid the youth well for serving
her thus far. Thrift, as well as sentiment,
seemed to shine from Francois* eloquent dark
eyes. Could he be induced to espouse her cause
"Monsieur must not think I would prove dis-
loyal to his excellency, my employer," spoke up
the youth as if reading what had been passing
through the other's mind. "There could be no
harm in a mere inquiry as to monsieur's state
None at all," assented the prisoner quickly.
Though" — a sudden inspiration came to Mr.
Heatherbloom — "contingencies may arise
when one can best serve those who employ him
by secretly opposing them." •
"I don't understand. Monsieur," said Fran-
"The prince is a madman. By incurring the
AND THEN— 267
enmity of his Imperial Master he would rush
on to his own destruction. Suppose by this mis-
alliance, the very map of Europe itself were
destined to be changed ?"
The words sounded portentous, and Francois
stared. He had imagination. The beautiful
American girl had told him that this man be-
fore him was a great and daring detective. He
spoke now even as an emissary of the czar him-
self. The prince was a high lord, close to the
throne. These were deep waters. The youth
looked troubled; Mr. Heatherbloom allowed
the thought he had inspired to sink in.
"What is our first port ?'* his voice, more au-
thoritative, now demanded.
Francois mentioned an island.
"When do we get there ?"
"We are near it to-night but on account of
the rocks and reefs, I heard the captain say we
would slow down, so as not to enter the harbor
Daybreak! And then? Mr. Heatherblocmi
closed his eyes; when he again opened them
they revealed none of the poignant emotion
268 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
that had swept over him. "What time is it
"My jailer — ^the third officer, you say — visits
this cell once every night. Do you know what
time he comes ?"
"I shouldn't be here, Monsieur, at this mo-
ment, if I didn't know that He comes in an
hour, after his watch is over, with the bread
and water — ^monsieur's frugal fare. And
now" — those apprehensions, momentarily dulled
by wonderment seemed returning to Francois
— "I will bid monsieur — "
"Stay! One moment!" Mr. Heatherbloom's
accents were feverish, commanding. "You
must — ^in the name of the czar! — for the
prince's sake! — for hers — for- — for the re-
ward — "
"Monsieur !" Again that flicker of indigna-
Mr. Heatherbloom swept it aside. "She has
asked you to help her escape?" he demanded
Francois did not exactly deny. There were
AND THEN— 269
no listeners here. "It would be impossible for
her to escape," he answered rather sullenly.
"Then she did broach a. plan — one you re-
fused to accede to. What was it?"
"Mere madness!" Scoffingly. "Made-
moiselle may be generous, and mon Dieu! very
persuasive, but she doesn't get me to — "
"What was her proposal? Answer." Stern-
ly. "You can't incriminate yourself here."
Francois knew that The cell was remote.
There could be no harm in letting the talk drift
a little further. He replied, briefly outlining
"Excellent!" observed Mr. Heatherbloom.
"Mere madness !" reiterated Francois.
"Not at all. But if it were, some people
would, under the circumstances," with subtle
accent, "gladly imdertake it — ^just as you will 1"
'Oh, Willi?" Ironically.
'Yes, when you hear all I have to say. In
the first place, I relinquish all claim to the re-
ward. Sufficient for me — " And Mr. Heath-
erbloom mumbled something about the czar.
270 A MAN AND HIS MONET
^Bah! That sounds very well, only there
wouldn't be any reward," retorted Francois.
**The prince would only capture us again and
then — ** He shrugged. "I know his temper
and have no desire for the longer voyage with
old man Charon — ^"
"Wait!" More aggressively. "I have not
done. No one will suspect that you have been
here to-night ?" he asked.
"Does monsieur think I am a fool ? No, no !
And now my little errand for mademoiselle be-
ing finished — "
"You can do as Miss Dalrjrmple wishes,
achieve an embarrassment of riches, and run
no risk whatever yourself."
Indeed ?" Starting slightly.
^At least, no appreciable one." Mr. Heath-
erbloom explained his plan quickly. Francois
listened, at first with open skepticism, then with
*'Mon Dieu! If it were possible!" he mut-
tered. South-of-France imagination had again
been appealed to. "But no — "
"Remember all the reward will be for you"
AND THEN— 271
— swiftly — "sufficient to buy vineyards and
settle down for a life of peace and plenty — "
Francois' eyes wavered ; any Frenchman would
have found the picture enticing. Already the
beautiful American girl had, as Mr. Heather-
bloom suspected, surreptitiously thrust several
valuable jewels upon the youth as a reward for
this preliminary service. Having experienced a
foretaste of riches, Francois perhaps secretly
longed for more of the glittering gems and for
some of those American dollars which sounded
five times as large in francs. Besides, this man,
the great detective, or emissary, inspired con-
fidence; his tones were vibrant, compelling.
"And for you, Monsieur? — ^the risk for
you — " Francois faltered.
"Never mind about me. You consent?"
The other swallowed, muttered a monosylla-
ble in a low tone.
"Then — " Heatherbloom murmured a few
instructions. "Miss Dalrymple is not to know."
"I understand," said Francois quickly. And
going out stealthily, he closed and locked the
door behind him.
INTO THE INFINITE
THE midnight hour drew near, and, above
deck, tranquillity reigned. It was, how-
ever, the comparative quiet that follows a storm.
A threatening day had culminated in a fierce
tropical downpour — a cloud-burst — ^when the
very heavens had seemed to open. The Nevski,
steaming forward at half speed, had come al-
most to a stop ; struck by the masses of water,
she had fairly staggered beneath the impact
Now she lay motionless, while every
shroud and line dripped; the darkness
had become inky. Only the light from
cabin windows which lay on the wet
deck like shafts of silver relieved that Cim-
merian effect. The sea moaned from the lash-
ing it had received — ^a faint undertone, how-
ever, that became suddenly drowned by loud
- X .
INTO THE INFINITE 273
and harsh clangor, the hammering on metal
somewhere below. Possibly something had
gone wrong with a hatch or iron compartment
door inadvertently left open, or one of the
ventilators may have got jammed and needed
adjusting. The captain, as he hastened down a
companionway, muttered angrily beneath his
breath about water in the stoke room. The
decks, in the vicinity of the cabins, seemed
now deserted, when from the shadows, a figure
that had merged in the general gloom, stepped
out and passed swiftly through one of the
trails of light. Gliding stea,lthily toward the
stem, this person drew near the rail, and, peer-
ing cautiously over, looked down on one of the
small boats swung out in readiness for the
landing party at dawn.
"Mademoiselle," he breathed low.
"Is that you, Prancois?" came up softly
from the boat.
He murmured something. "Is all in readi-
'Quite! Make haste."
The person above, about to swing himselt
274 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
over the rail, paused ; a cabin door, near by, had
been thrown open and a stream of light shot
near him. Some one came out ; moreover, she —
for the some one was a woman — did not close
the door. The youth crouched back, trying to
draw himself from sight but the woman saw
him, and coming quickly forward spoke. She
thought him, no doubt, one of the sailors. He
did not answer, perhaps was too frightened to
do so, and his silence caused her to draw
nearer. More sharply she started to address
him in her own native Russian but the words
abruptly ceased; a sudden exclamation fell
from her lips. He, as if made desperate by
what the woman, now at the rail, saw or di-
vined, seemed imbued with extraordinary
strength. The success or failure of the en-
terprise hung on how he met this unexpected
emergency. Heroic, if needs be, brutal meas-
ures were demanded. Her outcry was stifled,
but Sonia Turgeinov was strong and resisted
like a tigress. Perhaps she thought he meant
to kill her, and in an excess of fear she man-
aged to call out once. Fortunately for the
INTO THE INFINITE 275
youth, the hammering below continued, but
whether she had made herself heard or not
was uncertain. Confronted by a dire possi-
bility, he exerted himself to the utmost to still
that warning voice. In frenzied haste he seized
the heavy scarf she had thrown around her
shoulders upon leaving the cabin and wound
it about her face and head. The sinuous body
seemed to grow limp in his arms. His was
not a pleasant task but a necessary one. This
woman had delivered the girl to the prince in
the first place ; would now attempt to frustrate
her escape. Any moment some one else might
come on deck and discover them.
"Quick! Why don't you come ?" Betty Dal-
rymple's anxious voice ascended from the
The youth knew well that no time must be
lost, but what to do? He could not leave the
woman. She might be only feigning uncon-
sciousness. And anyway they would soon
find her and learn the truth. That would mean
their quick recapture. Already he thought he
heard a footstep descending from the bridge —
276 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
approaching — With extraordinary strength
for one of Francois' slender build, he swung
the figure of the woman over the side, dropped
her into the boat and followed himself. A
breathless moment of suspense ensued ; he lis-
tened. The approaching footsteps came on;
then paused, and turned the other way. The
youth waited no longer. The little boat at the
side was lowered softly; it touched the water
and floated away from the Nevski like a
leaf. Then the darkness swallowed it.
"How far are we from the yacht now, Fran-
"Only a few miles, Mademoiselle."
"Do you think we'll be far enough away at
daybreak so they can't see us ?"
"Have no fear. Mademoiselle." The voice
of Francois in the stem, thrilled. •'There's a
fair sailing wind."
"Isn't it strange" — Betty Dalrymple, speak-
ing half to herself, regarded the motionless
form in the bottom of the boat — "that she, of
all persons, and I, should be thus thrust to-
INTO THE INFINITE 277
gether, in such a tiny craft, on such an enor-
mous sea ?'*
"I really couldn't help it. Mademoiselle" —
apologetically — "bringing her with us. There
was no alternative."
"Oh, Fm not criticizing you, who did so
splendidly." The girl's eyes again fell. "She
is unconscious a long time, Francois."
The youth's reply was lost amid the sound
of the waters. Only the sea talked now, wild-
ly, moodily ; flying feathers of foam flecked the
night. The boat took the waves laboriously
and came down with shrill seething. She
seemed ludicrously minute amid that vast un-
rest. The youth steered steadily; to Betty
Dalrymple he seemed just going on anyhow,
dashing toward a black blanket with nothing
beyond. It was all very wonderful and awe-
inspiring as well as somewhat fearsome. The
waves had a cruel sound if one listened to them
closely. A question floating in her mind found,
after a long time, hesitating but audible ex-
"Do you think there's any doubt about oiu*
278 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
being able to make one of the islands, Fran-
*'None whatever!" came back the confident,
almost eager reply. "Not the slightest doubt in
the world, Mademoiselle. The islands are very
near and we can't help seeing one of them at
"Daybreak?" she said. "I wish it were here
Swish ! swish ! went the sea with more men-
acing soimd. For the moment Francois steered
wildly, and the boat careened; he brought
her up sharply. The girl spoke no more. Per-
haps the motion of the little craft gradually
became more soothing as she accustomed her-
self to it, for, before long, her head drooped.
It was dry in the bow ; a blanket protected her
from the wind, and, weary with the events of
the last few days, she seemed to rest as secure-
ly on this wave-rocked couch as a child in its
cradle. The youth, uncertain whether she slept
or not, forbore to disturb her. Hours went by.
As the night wore on a few stars came out
in a discouraged kind of way. Heretofore he
INTO THE INFINITE 279
had been steering by the wind ; now, that scanty
peripatetic band, adrift on celestial highways^
assisted him in keeping his course. When one
sleepy-eyed planet went in, another, not far
away (from the human scope of survey) came
out, and Francois, with the perspicacity of a
follower of the sea, seemed to have learned
how to gage direction by a visual game of
hide-and-seek with the pin-points of infinitude.
Between watching the stars, the sea and the
sail, he foimd absorbing occupation for mind
and muscle. Sometimes, in the water's depres-
sions, a lull would catch them, then when the
wind boomed again over the tops of the crests,
slapping fiercely the canvas, a brief period of
hazard had to be met The boat, like a delicate
live creature, needed a fine as well as a firm
His faculties thus concentrated, Francois
had remained oblivious to the dark form in the
center of the boat, although long ago Sonia
Turgeinov had first moved and looked up. If
she made any sound, he whose glance passed
steadily over her had not heard it She raised
28o A MAN AND HIS MONEY
herself slightly ; sat a long time motionless, an
arm thrown over a seat, her eyes alternating in
direction, from the seas near the downward
gunwale, to the almost indistinguishable figure
of him in the stem, the while her fingers played
with a scarf — ^the one that had been wotmd
around her head. Once she leaned back, her
cheek against the sharp thwart, her gaze heav-
enward. She remained thus a long while, with
body motionless, though her fingers continued
to toy with the bit of heavy silk, as if keeping
pace with some mercurial rush of thoughts.
A wastrel, she had been in many strange
places, but never before had she found herself
in a situation so extraordinary. To her star-
tled outlook, the boat might well have seemed
a chip tossed on the mad foam of chaos. This
figure, almost indistinguishable, yet so stead-
fastly present at the stem of the little craft,
appeared grim and ghostlike. But that he was
no ghost — His grip had been real; certainly
that. He had been, too, perforce, a master of
action. She leaned her head on her elbow.
Strangely, she felt no resentment.
INTO THE INFINITE 281
The tired stars, as by a community of inter-
est and common understanding, slowly faded
altogether. The woman bent her glance bow-
ward. The day — what would it reveal?
She understood a good deal, yet much still puz-
zled her. As through a dream, she had seemed
to hear the name, "Francois" — ^to listen to a
crystalline voice, fresh as the tinkling bells in
some temple at the dawn. The darkness of the
sky fused into a murky gray, and as that som-
ber tone began, in turn, to be replaced by a
lighter neutral tint, she made out dimly the
figure of the girl. As by a species of fascina-
tion, she continued to look at her while the
mom unfolded slowly. From behind a dark
promontory of vapor, Aurora's warm hand
now tossed out a few careless ribbons. They
lightened the chilly-looking sea; they touched
a golden tress — ^just one, that stole out from
under the gray blanket. The girl's face could
not be seen ; the hejavy covering concealed the
lines of the lithe young form.
As she continued to sleep — ^undisturbed by
the first manifestations of the dawn — the worn-
282 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
an's glance swept backward to him at the heltiu
The shafts of light showed now his face, worn
and set, yet strangely transfigured. He did
not seem to notice her ; beneath heavy lids his
quick glances shot this way and that to where
wisps of mist on the surface x)f the sea partly
obscured the outlook. Sonia Turgeinov di-
vined his purpose; he was looking for the
Nevski. But although he continued to search
in the direction of the yacht, he did not catch
sight of her. Ohly the winding and twining
diaphanous veils played where he feared she
might have been visible. An expression of
great satisfaction passed over his features.
Then he swayed from sheer weariness; he
could have dropped gladly to the bottom of the
boat. Brain as well as sinew has its limita-
tions and the night had been long and trying.
He had done work that called for tenseness and
mental concentration every moment. He had
outlasted divers and many periods when catas-
trophe might have overwhelmed them, and now
that the blackness which had shrouded a thou-
sand unseen risks and perils had been swept
INTO THE INFINITE 283
aside, an almost overpowering reaction claimed
him. This natural lassitude became the more
marked after he had scanned the horizon in
vain for the prince's pleasure-yacht.
His task, however, was far from over, and
he straightened. To Sonia Turgeinov, his gaze
and his expression were almost somnambu-
listic. He continued steering, guiding their
destinies as by force of habit. Luckily the
breeze had waned and the boat danced more
gaily than dangerously. It threw little rain-
bows of spray in the air; he blinked at them,
his eyes half closed. In the bow the old dun-
colored blanket stirred but he did not see it. A
glorious sun swept up, and began to lap thirst-
ily the wavering mists from the surface of the
Sonia Turgeinov spoke now softly to the
steersman. What she said he did not know;
his lack-luster gaze met hers. All dislike and
disapproval seemed to have vanished from it;
he saw her only as one sees a face in a daguer-
reotype of long ago, or looks at features limned
by a soulless etcher.
284 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Do you see it?" he asked.
"Trees? Aren't those trees?"
"I see nothing."
"You do. You must. They are tfiere.'* He
spoke almost roughly, as if she irritated himu
"Oh, jres. I think I do see something," she
said, and started. "Like a speck? — 3, film? —
a bird's wing, perhaps ?"
In the bow the blanket again stirred. Then,
as from the dull chrysalis emerge brightness
and beauty, so from those dim folds sprang
into the morning light a red-lipped, lovely
Trees," repeated the steersman to Sonia
Turgeinov. "I am positive — " he went on, but
lost interest in his own words. Fatigue seemed
to fall from him in an instant ; he stared.
From beneath her golden hair Betty Dal-
fymple's eyes flashed full upon him.
"You!" she said.
Mr. Heatherbloom appeared to relapse; his
expression — ^that smile — ^vague, indefinit<
again partook of the somnambulistic
AN ANOMALOUS SITUATION
THE most unexpected and extraordinary
thing in the world had happened, yet
Betty Dalrymple asked no questions. Had she
done so, it is probable that Mr. Heatherbloom
would have been physically unequal to the laby-
rinthine explanation the occasion demanded.
For a brief spell the girl had continued to re*
gard him and she had seemed about to speak
further. Then the blue light of her gaze had
slowly turned and her lips remained mute. He
was glad of this; of course he would later
have to tell something, but sufficient unto that
unlucky hour were the perplexities thereof.
Sonia Turgeinov had been surprised, too, but
it was Betty Dalrymple's surprise that had most
awakened her wonder. "Why, didn't you
know it was he?" the dark eyes seemed to say
286 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
to the young girl. "Who else, on earth, did
you think it was?" The mystery for her, as
well as ^or Betty Dalrymple, deepened. Only
for Mr. Heatherbloom there existed no mys-
tery ; it was all how clear as day. He had done
what he had set out to do. She would soon be
enabled to find her way back to civilization.
His present concern lay with the occupation of
The tree was a tree ; this was the most mo-
mentous immediate consideration; a few more
miles had established that fact with positive-
ness. But distances on the water are long, and
they three would have to journey together on
the sea yet a while. He bethought him of his
duties as host; these — ^his two passengers —
were in his care.
"You should find biscuits in a basket and
water in a cask," he said, speaking to both of
them, and, at the same time, to immeasurable
distance. "If you don't mind looking — ^I can't
At that, a nervous laugh welled from Sonia
AN ANOMALOUS SITUATION 287
Turgeinov's throat ; she had to give way. Pos-
sibly the absurd thought seized her that all the
tragedies and comedies might be simmered
down to one thing. Were there biscuits in the
basket? But Betty Dalrymple did not laugh;
her eyes were like stars on a wintry night ; her
face was white as paper. It was turned now
from the steersman — ^ahead. She saw the
blur before them become a definite line of
green; later she made out details, the large
heads of small trees. The former looked like
big overflowing cabbages ; the trunks, beneath,
sprawled this way and that, as the vagaries of
the wind had directed their growth. In front
of them and the vernal strip, a white line slow-
ly resolved itself into moving foam. She —
they all could hear it now, faintly — ^they
were very near; no thunderous anthem it
pealed forth ; its voice seethed in soft cadences.
Mr. Heatherbloom, with sheet taut, ran his
craft toward the sands but the boat grounded
some little distance from the shore. It was
useless to attempt to go farther so he let
288 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
his sail out, got up and stepped overboard.
The water was rather more than knee deep;
he tugged at the boat and attempted to draw
her up farther without much success. She
was too heavy, and desisting from his ef-
forts, he approached Miss Dalrymple. The
young girl shrank back slightly, but seem-
ing not to notice that first instinctive move-
ment, he reached over and lifted her out. It
was don^ in a businesslike manner and with
no more outward concern than a Kikuji porter
might have displayed in meeting the exigencies
of a like situation. The bubbles seethed
around Mr. Heatherbloom's legs; unmindful
of them or the shifting sands beneath foot, he
strode straight as might be for the shore. His
burden was not a heavy one but it seemed
very still and unyielding. He released her
at the earliest possible opportunity and in the
same matter-of-fact way (still that of a human
ferry on the banks of the turbulent Chania) he
returned for his other passenger. Around
Sonia Turgeinov's rich lips a mocking smile
seemed to play ; she arose at once.
AN ANOMALOUS SITUATION 289
"How charming! How very gallant!" she
murmured. "First, you nearly strangle one,
and then — "
Her soft arm stole about his neck, and her
warm breath swept his cheek as, stony-faced,
he trudged along. This time his burden was
heavier, although there were men who would
not have minded that under the circumstances.
The dark eyes, full of sparkles and enigmas,
turned upon his frosty ones. But she did not
see very far into that so-called medium of the
soul ; 'she received only an impression one gets
in looking at a wall.
He put her down — ^gently. Whereupon, her
dark brows lifted ironically. He, gentle — ^to
her? Did she dream? She felt again that
fterce clasp of the night before, and men-
tally told herself she would like to label him
an artistic study in contrasts. Really the
adventure began to be "worth while"; she
felt almost reconciled to it. He hsld carried
her off as the rough, old-fashioned pirates
bear away feminine prizes from a town they
have looted. From dog-tender to bucaneer
290 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
e— he appealed to her imagination. She ex-
perienced a childlike desire to sit down where
he had left her and play with the shells.
But instead she looked toward Betty Dalrym-
ple. That young girl, however, did not return
her regard, though the golden head, a few mo-
ments before, had lifted once, with a swift,
bird-like motion toward Sonia Turgeinov, en
route beachward. Now the girl's features
were steadfastly bent away; whatever gladness
she may have felt in thus, after many vicissi-
tudes, reaching land safely, she kept to herself.
Mr. Heatherbloom resumed the task of por-
ter ; his next burden — ^the water-cask — was the
heaviest of all. He struggled with it and once
nearly went down, so tired was he, but he got
it ashore, and the basket of biscuits, too, and
some other things. The boat, floating more
lightly, he now pulled to the strand; then he
took out the spar and the sail. This done, he
gazed around ; the place was deserted by man,
though of birds and crabs and other crawling
objects there were a-plenty. Mr. Heatherbloom
stood with knitted brow ; it was a time for con-
AN ANOMALOUS SITUATION 291
templation, visual and mental. For the latter
he did not feel very fit as he strove to think
what was best to do next. The other two — ^he
still forced himself to keep to the purely im-
personal aspect of the case — ^were his charges.
Being women, they were mutually and equally
(the mockery of it!) dependent on him. He
was responsible for their welfare and well-
being. In the sail-boat he had been captain;
ashore, he became commandant, an answerable
factor. He began to plan.
What kind of place had they come to? —
was it big or small? — inhabited, or deserted?
All this would have to be ascertained, later.
Meanwhile, temporary headquarters were need-
ed ; he would erect a tent. The spar and boom
served for the ridge and front poles, the sail
for the canvas covering, the sheet and hal-
yards for the restraining lines. Sonia Tur-
geinov again watched him; her interest was
now of that vague kind she had sometimes ex-
perienced when the manager appeared on a
darkened stage, with a fresh crackling manu-
script. Then she had lolled back and listened
292 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
to the first reading. She would have lolled
back now — for the air was soporific — but, in-
stead, she started suddenly. The old wound
on Mr. Heatherbloom's head, heretofore con-
cealed by the cap Francois had procured for
him, had reopened as he exerted himself; he
raised his hand quickly and seemed a little at a
loss. She stepped to him at once.
"The scarf, Monsieur?"
"Thank you." He took it absently.
"It serves divers purposes," she murmured.
And Mr. Heatherbloom, remembering the
more violent employment hel had found for it
the night before, flushed slightly.
She added delicate emphasis to her remark
by assisting him. With her own fingers she
tied a knot, and rather painstakingly spread
out the ends. He endured grimly. Miss
Dalrymple appeared not to have observed the
episode but, of course, it had in reality been
all quite fully revealed to her. It was in
keeping with certain circumstances of the
past that the Russian woman should not be
unmindful of him, her confrere in the con-
AN ANOMALOUS SITUATION 293
spiracy. That much was patent; but other
happenings were not so easily reconciled.
What had taken place on the deck of the
Nevski in those breathless last few moments as
they were escaping, was in ill conformity with
those amicable relations which should have ex-
isted between the two. This man's presence
in the boat, in the place of Francois, could be
explained by no logical process with the prem-
ises she had at her command.
The bandage possessed a subtly weird and
bizarre interest for the young girl. He had
been injured. How? For what reason ? Betty
Dalrymple's mind swept, seemingly without
very definite cause, to another scene, one of
violence. Again she heard the crashing of
glass and saw forms leaping into the cabin.
Her thoughts reverted, on the instant, to the
unknown helper she had been obliged to leave
behind. Somehow, real as he had been, he
seemed at this moment strangely apart, some-
thing in the abstract. Then all illusive specu-
lations merged abruptly into a realization that
needed no demonstration. Sonia Turgeinov
294 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
possessed a certain outre attractiveness the
young girl had never noted before. The violet
eyes, shining through the long shading lashes,
rested a moment on her; then passed steadily
"I'm off for a look around." Mr. Heather-
bloom, having transferred their meager posses-
sions to the tent, now addressed Miss Dalrym-
ple, or Sonia Turgeinov, or an indefinite space
between them. "Better stay right here while
Tm gone." His tones had a firm accent.
"Sorry there are only biscuits for breakfast,
but perhaps there'll be better fare before long.
If you should move around" — his eye lingered
authoritatively on Betty Dalrymple — "keep to
"How very solicitous!" laughed Sonia Tur-
geinov as the young man strode off. "That
was intended especially for you, Mademoiselle.
As for me, it does not matter." With a shrug.
"I might stroll into the wood, be devoured by
wild beasts, and who would care ?"
Betty Dalrymple did not answer.
"A truce. Mademoiselle !" said the other in
AN ANOMALOUS SITUATION 295
the same gay tone. "I know very well what
you think of me. You told me very clearly on
the Nevski, and before that, on shore. In this
instance, however, since it is through no fault
or choice of mine that we are thrown thus
closely tbgether, would it not be well to make
the best of the situation?"
"There seems, indeed, no choice in the mat-
ter," answered the young girl coldly.
"None, unless like those in the admirable
play, we elect to pitch our respective camps at
different parts of the beach. But that would
be absurd, wouldn't it? Besides, I have my
punishment — ^no light one for Sonia Turgeinov
who herself has been accustomed to a little
adulation in the past. I am de trop"
^'De trop?" There was a faint uplifting of
the brow. "You should not be altogether that."
• "You mean I should be very friendly with
him, my colleague and confidant, n'est ce pasf*
Sonia's dark eyes swept swiftly the proud
lovely face. "In truth he proved an able assist-
ant." Her voice was a little mocking. "What
if I should tell you it was he who planned it all
296 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
•—devised the ways and means ?" A statue could
not have been more immovable than Betty Dal-
rymple. "Or," suddenly, "what if I should
say quite — au contraire" The girl stirred,
Sonia Turgeinov seemed to ruminate. "Should
I be so forgiving — ^after last night?" she mur-
mured. "It would be inconsistent, wouldn't
it? — or angelic? And I am no angel."
The girl's lips started to form a question
but she did not speak. Afar, Mr. Heather-
bloom's figure could be seen, almost at the van-
ishing point. He was toiling: up an incline.
Then the green foliage swallowed him. Sonia
Turgeinov smiled at vacancy. "Though I do
owe him a little," she went on, half medita-
tive. "He was kind to me in the park. He was
sorry for me. Think of it, and without ad-
miring me. Other men have professed for poor
Sonia Turgeinov a little interest or solicitude at
divers times and places, but it has always been
accompanied with something else. Is that be-
yond the understanding of your pure soul,
nourished in a hothouse. Mademoiselle?"
There was a sudden hard ring of rebellion in
AN ANOMALOUS SITUATION 297
her tones. "Am I handsome ? Your eyes said
it not long ago. Ma foi!" Her voice becom-
ing light again. "It was Parsifal himself who
talked with me in the park — ^that place for ren-
dezvous and romances." Her thoughts leaped
over time and space. "The first light of the
sun revealed to you this day the last face you
expected to see. It was as if a bit of miracle,
or a little diablerie had happened. I, too, was
in a haze, not so great — ^though on the deck
the night before I little expected to encounter
one I had last seen in chains, a prisoner — "
"A prisoner — in chains — ^he — " Betty Dal-
"You did not know? What on earth did
you expect? That the prince would give him
the siiite de luxe after the beating his excellency
received — "
"The beating?" half-stammered the girl.
"Then the man in the salon who claimed to be
a detective was — "
"What? He claimed that?" laughed Sonia
Turgeinov. ^'Trks drole!"
But Betty Dalrymple did not laugh. Her
298 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
eyes, bent seaward, saw nothing now of the
leaping waves ; her face was fixed as a cameo's.
Only her hair stirred, wind-tossed, all in mo-
tion like her thoughts. And regarding her,
Sonia Turgeinov's eyes began to harden a lit-
tle. Did the woman regret for the moment
what she had said, divining again some play
within a play? Yet what could there be in
common between this beautiful heiress and the
gardeur de chiensf No ! it was absurd to con-
ceive anything of the kind. Nevertheless
Sonia Turgeinov unaccountably began to expe-
rience a vague hostility for the young girl ; this
she might partly attribute to the great gaps
of convention separating them. Her own life,
in confused pictures, surged panorama-like
before her mental vision: The garret begin-
ning ; the cold and hunger hardships ; the beat-
ings, when a child ; the girl problems — so hard ;
the woman's — Faugh! what a life! Would
that the flame of the artist had burned more
brightly or not at all. She tried to imagine
what she would have been, if she, too, had
been bom to a golden cradle.
AN ANOMALOUS SITUATION 299
A great ennui swept over her. How old she
felt on a sudden! And how homesick, too.
Yes; that was it — homesickness. She could
have stretched out her arms toward her much
beloved and, sometimes, a little hated, Russia.
The bright domes of her native city seemed to
shine now in her eyes. She walked in spirit
the stony pavement of the Kremlin. Cruelty,
intolerance, suffering — all these reigned in the
city of extremes, but she would have kissed
even the cold marble at the feet of dead ty-
rants, the way the people did, if she could have
stood at that moment in one of the old, old
sacred places. Her brief flight into the new
world had led her to no pots of gold at rain-
bow end. The little honorarium from his ex-
cellency for her part in this adventure, she did
not want now. She regretted that she had ever
embarked upon it. What penalty might she
not have to pay yet? The law, with dragon
fingers would reach out — no doubt was reach-
ing out now — to grip her. Well, let it.
A crisp, matter-of-fact voice— concealing
any agitation the speaker may have felt — ^broke
300 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
in upon these varied reflections. Mr. Heather*
bloom, rather out of breath but quiet and de-
termined, stood before them.
"Miss Dalrymple ! — Mademoiselle ! There is
no occasion for alarm but it will be necessary
for us to leave here at once I"
AN UNEXPECTEaj OFFER
^ I ^O leave?" It was Sonia Turgeinov
A who spoke. "You mean — " Her eyes
turned ocean ward but saw nothing.
He made a quick gesture toward a break in
the outline of the shore where the island swept
around. "Beyond!" he said succinctly and
she had no doubt as to his meaning. The tent
he had put up where it could not be seen from
the sea. But their boat — He looked at the
little craft, a too distinct object on the sands.
Those on a vessel skirting the shore could not
fail to discover that incriminating bit of evi-
dence with their glasses. And there was no way
of getting rid of it. He could not destroy it
with his bare hands. It was unsinkable. If he
set it adrift, wind and sea would drive it
302 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
**They probably discovered our absence about
daybreak and surmised correctly the direction
the breeze would carry us," he muttered half
bitterly. "We must go at once." These last
words he spoke firmly.
"But where?" Again it was Sonia Turgei-
nov who questioned him. Betty Dalrymple
remained silent; her eyes shone with a new
inscrutable light; her cheek, though pale, had
the warmth of a live pearl. She touched the
sands with the tip of her §hoe.
But he did not regard her, nor did he answer
Sonia Turgeinov. Going to the tent, he bent
over the basket of biscuits and hastily filled
his pockets. Then, throwing a woman's heavy
cloak over his arm, he stepped quickly to Miss
"Come," he said laconically.
Her foot, Cinderella's for daintiness, ceased
its motion ; she turned at once. Around her lips
a strange little smile flitted but faded almost
immediately. Save for her straightness and
that proud characteristic poise of the head,
she might have seemed, at that moment of
AN UNEXPECTED OFFER 30;,
emergency, a veritable Griselda for acquies-
cence. He started to walk away, when —
"What about me?" cried Sonia Turgeinov.
*'You can come or you can stay," said Mr.
Heatherbloom. "The chances are that the
prince will see the boat, land and get yotu"
"And if he doesn't?"
"There are plenty of biscuits, and FU send
back for you when I can."
"That prospect is not very inviting," she
demurred. "Suppose I elect not to risk it —
to go with you ?"
"It is for you to decide, and quickly," he
said in a cold crisp tone.
"You dismiss my fate bruskly, Monsieur,"
"There is no time to bandy words, Madam,"
he retorted warmly. "I am not oblivious to
you — I trust I would not be to any woman —
but every minute now is precious."
"Of course!" An instant she looked at the
girl and a spark appeared in the dark eyes.
Then Sonia Turgeinov's features abruptly re-
laxed and she waved her hand carelessly. "I
304 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
have decided," she said in her old mannen
"Go! My best adieus, Monsieur — Mademoi-
selle." With a gay courtesy. "Farewell !
babes in the wood!" Her voice was once
more mocking. They moved silently away
but before they had gone far enough to dis-
appear in the forest she suddenly ran toward
them. "No, no!" she said in a different voice.
"I have changed my mind. It is such a tiny
thing, that boat — in the glare and shine. They
might not see it, and then — " She shuddered^
"How frightfully lonesome ! — ^the terrible
He made an impatient gesture. "After me,
then! You, Miss Dalrymple, will come last'*
"Ah, you think I am coming because I may
wish to help them?" Sonia Turgeinov said
"I intend to take no chances," he returned
in the same tone. And the three moved on.
He set a sharp pace; if there was need for
haste at all it was now, at the beginning of
their flight. They plunged deeper into the for-
est; no one spoke; only the crackling under
AN UNEXPECTED OFFER 305
foot and certain wood sounds broke the still-
ness. Unfortunately the soil was soft so that
their footprints might be followed by any one
versed in woodcraft At times they were
forced to skirt unusually thick places, but in
spite of these deviations Mr. Heatherbloom
was enabled generally to keep to their course
by consulting a small compass he had found
in the boat. It was essential to maintain as
straight a line as possible. People sometimes
walked round and round in forests; he took
no chance of that; better a moment lost now
and then, while stopping to wait for the quiver^
ing pointer to settle, than returning, perhaps,
to the very spot they had left.
As thus they advanced, often he looked
around to reassure himself that the young girl,
in spite of the roughness of the way, yet fol-
lowed. Once Sonia Turgeinov arrested that
swift backward look; her own shone with
"How in heaven^s name did you do it, Mon-
sieur?" she asked suddenly, drawing nearer
"Get out of that cell, I mean. When last I
3o6 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
saw you on the ship, you were as securely fas-
tened as a prisoner in the fortress at Peters-
burg. Of course you must have had some one
He answered coldly, recalling a promise to
protect Francois. He could, however, and did,
tell her the truth in this without involving the
youth. "When the third officer, my jailer,
came to the cell and released my hands — well,
I did the best I could, surprised him, got the
keys and left him there in my stead. A little
Jap trick for handling men that I learned in
San Francisco long ago," he added.
Her dark eyes lingered on him not without
a trace of admiration. "Mademoiselle is for-
tunate, indeed, in her champion," she mur-
mured. "And yet that does not explain the
preparations for departure — ^the provisions in
the boat— other little details. How came you
by that compass, for example ?"
"It explains all that will be explained."
''Which means, once more, you do not trust
me?" She shrugged. "Eh bienT And again
they went on in silence.
AN UNEXPECTED OFFER 307
Toward noon, reaching a fringe of the for-
est, they found before them a wide open space
where the ground was higher and dry, but the
walking more difficult. The grass, long and
tenacious, twined snake-like around their an-
kles ; they had to go more slowly, but reached,
at length, the top of the eminence. Here Mr.
Heatherbloom stopped. They ate their biscuit
and rested, but only for a brief while. Scan-
ning the distance, in the direction they had
come, he suddenly discerned moving forms on
the farthest edge of the open space — forms
which advanced toward them. No doubt as
to their purpose could be entertained; his ex-
cellency had landed and was already in pur-
suit. A smoldering fire leaped from Mr.
Heatherbloom's eyes while rage that she should
thus be driven harder filled his breast Fool!
that he had not killed the prince when oppor-
tunity had offered that night in the cabin. His
clemency might — ^probably would — cost her
*'WeVe got to go on, and faster," said the
young man. His hands were clenched; his
3o8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
arms were stiff at his side. "Can you do it ?"
he asked Betty Dalrymple. She answered;
standing in a green recess, she had never ap-
peared more beautiful to him than in that mo-
ment of peril. Green and red things flashed
behind her — tiny feathered creatures that shone
like jewels. The dewdrops from the branches
in sunless places were glistening brilliants in
the gold of her hair. But he had no time to
gaze. The figures were drawing nearer.
"You used to be able to run, Betty. It seems
as if it's all my fault" — ^hoarsely — "but you'll
have to do so now."
Again that ready response from her! Did
she, in the excitement of the moment, call
him by a Christian name not Horatio? He
did not take cognizance of it ; neither did Sonia
Turgeinov seem to.
The latter spoke quickly: "I remain here."
"Of course," said Mr. Heatherbloom, with
a glance back toward the open space.
She overlooked the significance or bitterness
in his accent. "Keep to the right," she said
swiftly. "Believe me or not. Til send them
AN UNEXPECTED OFFER 309
to the left. It's your only chance. Otherwise
they would overtake you in an hour. Among
the prince's men are Cossacks trained to feats
"You would do that?" He looked at her
quickly. The dark eyes did not swerve from
the gray ones.
"Did I betray you on the boat?" said Sonia
Turgeinov rather haughtily.
"No," he conceded.
"And yet; I knew you! You know that,"
'Yes ; you knew me." Slowly,
^Did I tell his excellency who you were,
when he had you a prisoner ?" she demanded.
And — "No," he was obliged to say again.
"See." She took from her breast a tiny
cross. **I had that as a child. Would I kiss
it, and~tell you a lie in the next breath?" He
did not answer. "I have lived up to the letter
of my contract with his excellency. It is at
an eftd. Perhaps I am a little sorry for my
awn part" — ^with a laugh slightly reckless —
"or maybe" — ^with a flash of seriousness — "I
3IO A MAN AND HIS MONEY
have become, in the least, afraid. Your laws
are very severe, and — I had not counted on
mademoiselle's steadfast resistance to— ^mo ft
Dieu! — a prince who had been considered ir-
resistible — ^whose principality is larger than
one of your states — ^who would have made
her, in truth, a czaritza. I had fancied," in a
rush of words, "the mad episode might end
as it did in the prince's favorite Fire and
Sword trilogy, with wedding-bells and rej^oic-
ing." She paused abruptly. "I had also not
counted on the all-important possibility that
mademoiselle might have bestowed her heart
on another — "
"Madam!" It was Betty Dalrymple who
Sonia Turgeinov laughed maliciously. "Go,"
she said, "or" — almost fiercely — "I may change
They went; Sonia Turgeinov turned and
looked out over the open space. The approach-
ing figures were now much nearer.
DUSK had begun to fall, but still two fig-
ures went on through the forest — ^slowly,
with obvious effort One turned often to the
other, held back a branch, or proffered such
service as he might over rough places, for Betty
Dalrymple's movements were no longer those
of a lithe wood-nymph; she had never felt so
weary before. The first shades of twilight
made it harder to distinguish their way amid
intervening objects, and ooce an elastic bit
of underbrush struck her sharply in the face.
The blow smarted like the touch of a whip
but' she only smiled faintly. The momentary
sting spurred her on faster, until her foot
caught and she stumbled and would have fallen
except that Mr. Heatherbloom had turned at
that moment and put out an arm.
"Forgive me." His voice was full of con-
312 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
trition. "It has been brutal to make you go
on like this, but I had to/'
"It doesn't matter/* The slender form slid
from him over-quickly. "You, too, must be
very tired," she said with breath coming fast.
He glanced swiftly back; listened "We'll
rest here," he commanded. "We've got to. I
should have stopped before, but" — ^the words
came in a harsher staccato— "I dared not."
"I'll be all right in a few moments," she an-
swered, resting on a fallen log, "and then — "
"No, no," he said in a tone of finality.
"After all, there is small likelihood they'll find
us now. Besides, it will soon be too dark to
go on. Fortunately, the night is warm, and
I've got this cloak for you."
"And for yourself?" Her voice was very
low and quiet, or perhaps it seemed so because
here, in the little recess in the great wood, the
hush was most pronounced.
"Me?" he laughed. "You seem to forget
I'm one of the happy brotherhood that just
drop down anywhere. Shouldn't know what
to do with a silk eiderdown if I had one."
His gaiety sounded rather forced. She was
silent and the quietude seemed oppressive. The
girl leaned back to a great tree trunk and
looked up. The sky wore an ocher hue
against which the branches quivered in zig-
zags of blackness. Mr. Heatherbloom moved
apart to watch, but still he neither saw nor
heard sign of any one drawing near. The sad
ocher merged into a somber blue; the stars
came out, one by one, then in shoals. She
could hardly see him now, so fast had the trop-
ical night descended, but she heard his step
"Quite certain there's no danger," he reas-
sured her. "Went back a way."
"Thank you," she said. And added : "For
''Betty." The stars twinkled madly. Pul-
sating waves seemed to vibrate in the air. A
moment he continued to stare into the dark-
ness, then again turned. He had not seen how
the girl's hand had suddenly closed, and her
slender form Had swayed. As restlessly he
resumed his sentinel's duty, Sonia Turgeinov's
314 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
last words once more recurred to hiHL How
often had he thought of them that long after-
noon, and wondered who was the one the
young girl would now shortly be free to turn
to? There had been many in the past who
had sought her favor. Perhaps the unknown
was one of these; or, more likely, one of the
newer many that had arisen, no doubt, since,
in the gayer larger world of New York, or
the continent. Betty Dalrymple's manner at
the Russian woman's words indicated that the
latter had — ^how Mr. Heatherbloom could not
imagine — ^hit upon a great kernel of truth.
Again, in fancy, he saw on her cheek that swift
flush of warm blood. Lucky, thrice lucky, the
man who had caused itl Softly Mr. Heather-
bloom moved nearer.
Was she sleeping? He, himself, felt too
fagged to sleep. Like Psyche, in the glade, she
was covered all with starlight. He ventured
closer, bent over; the widely opened eyes
looked suddenly into his.
*The woman told me you had nothing to do
with it — ^that plot of hers and the prince," she
said slowly. "I know now why you were on
the boat, and — all the rest — ^what it meant for
me, your being there."
"You know, then" — embarrassed — "the aw-
ful mess I made of it all^ — ''
"You dared a great deal," she said softly.
"And came an awful cropper!"
She did not answer directly. "At first
Francois was most reluctant to risk going with
me," she went on. "I thought it odd, at the
time, he should change so suddenly, become
so brave. Now I understand, at least, a little
— in a general way. I have been over-quick to
think evil of you, ever since we met again.
Perhaps, in the past, too" — slowly — "I have
"Betty!" he cried uneasily, and seemed
about once more to move away, when —
"Don't go," she said. "FU not talk if you
' command me not to. You've been the master
to-day, you know," with subtle accent.
"Have I?" His voice showed evidence of
distress. "I didn't really mean — it was neces-
sary," he ended firmly.
3i6 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
*'Of course it was," said the girl. Her ac-
cent conveyed no note of displeasure. Profile-
wise he saw her face now — ^the young moon
beyond. "Don't think I'm blaming you. I'm
not quite so hard, perhaps, as I once was."
Mr. HeatherUoom stood back a little farther
in the shadow. "Maybe, my poor little stand-
ard of judgment — " she stopped. "I have been
heedless, heartless, perhaps — "
"You !" he exclaimed. "You !" There was
only unfaltering adoration in his tone — faidi,
unchanged and unchangeable.
She spoke with a little catch in her voice:
"Oh, I haven't cared. I did flirt with the
prince; he accused me of that He was right
What did it matter to me, if I made others
suffer? I haven't always had so good a time
as I seemed to — " There was a ring of pas-
sion in her tone now. "What happened ?" she
said, turning on him swiftly. "What has hap-
pened? I want to know all — "
"You mean about the prince ?"
"I know all I want to know about him,"
scornfully. "I mean" — her slender figure bent
toward Mr. Heatherbloom — *'youl Whai: has
taken place, and why has it ? What does it all
mean ? Don't you understand ?"
He drew in his breath slowly.
*Tell me/' she said, still tensely poised, her
eyes insistent in the shadow of her hair.
"Miss Dalrymple — Betty — " he half stam-
"I want to know," she repeated. There was
an inexorable demand in her gaze. Mr.
Heatherbloom straightened. The ordeal? — it
must be met — ^though that box of Pandora
were best left unopened. He could not refuse
her anything; this she asked of him was not
easy to grant, however.
Where shall I begin?" he said uncertainly.
You know a great deal. There doesn't seem
much worth talking about."
*'Begin where we left oflf — "
"Our boy-and-girl engagement? You broke
it. Quite right of youl" She stirred slightly.
"It was, at best, but a perfunctory business,
half arranged by our parents to keep the mil-
lions together — "
3i8 A MAN AND fflS MOXEY
^Yoo never Uamed me a Iittl^ tlien?^ site
you?" wooderinglj. "Yoa were
as far from me as a star. \Vhat you thought
of me, you tcld me; it was all right — true
stuff. Though it sank in like a Made. I was
nothing— worse than nothing. A rich man's
son! — ^a commonplace tj'pe. A good fellow
some called me at Monte Cario, Paris, else-
where." He paused. A moment he seemed
another personality — that other one. She saw
it anew, caught a glimpse of it like a flash on
a mirror; then he seemed to relapse farther
back into the shadow. "I really don't want
to bore you," he said perfunctorily, raising an
uncertain hand to the stray lock on his fore-
"You aren't — doing that. Go on." Her
eyes were full of questions. "After I saw you
that last time" — he nodded — "you disappeared.
No one ever heard anything of you again, or
knew what had become of yott"
"As no one cared," he said with a short
laugh, "what did it matter?"
"You were lost to the world — ^had vanished
completely," she went on. "Sometimes I
thought — feared you were dead." Her voice
"Feared?" he repeated. "Ah, yes! You
did not want me to go out like that."
"No," she said slowly. "Not like that"
He looked at her comprehendingly ; in spite
of the bitter passionate repudiation of him,
she had been a little in earnest — had cared, in
the least, how he went down.
"Why," he said, with a forced smile, "I
didn't think you'd bother to give the matter a
"You had some purpose?" she persisted,
studying him. "I see — seem to feel it now.
It all — ^you — ^were incomprehensible. I mean,
when I saw you again that first time, in New
York, after so long — "
"It was funny, wasn't it?" he said with
rather strained lightness. "The Chariot of
Concord — What's the Matter with Mother?
— the gaping or jibing crowd — ^then you, go-
320 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
Her eyelids drooped; he stood now erect
and motionless; in spite of the determination
to maintain that matter-of-fact pose, visions ap-
peared momentarily in his eyes. The glamour
of the instant he had referred to caught him.
AH he had felt then at the unexpected sight
of her — ^beautiful, far-away — returned to him.
She was near now, but still immeasurably dis-
tant. He pulled himself together; he hadn't
explained very much yet. He was forced to
go on; her eyes once more seemed to draw
the story from him.
"Yes; I had some purpose in going away
like that. The idea came to me at the sana-
torium, when I was about 'all in*. They'd
managed to keep the drugs and the drink from
me, and one day I seemed to wake up and
realize I hadn't ever really lived. Just been
a tail-ender who had *gone the pace*. Hadn't
even had a beginning. Was it too late to start
over again? Probably." His voice came in
crisp accents. "But it was a last chance — a
feeble one — ^ straw to the drowning," he
laughed. "That sounds absurd to you but I
don't know how to explain it better."
No; it doesn't sound absurd," she said.
The idea of mine? — how to carry it out?
Ways and means were not hard to find. I
went to" — ^he mentioned a name — "an old
friend of my father's. He thought I was a
fool," bruskly, "but in the end he approved^
or seemed to. Anyhow, I persuaded him to
take all my bonds, securities and the rest of
(for me) cursed stuff. At the end of a cer-
tain time, if I wanted back the few millions I
hadn't yet run through, he was to give them
to me, minus commissions, wage, etc."
"You mean," said the girl, "that was the
way you took to go back to the beginning, as
you call it ?" Her eyes were like stars. "You
practically gave away all your money so as to
start by yourself."
"How could I start with it?" he asked, with
a faint smile. "Don't you see, Betty" — in a
momentary eagerness he forgot himself —
there couldn't be any compromising? Be-
322 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
sides, it came to me — ^you will laugh" — ^she
did not laugh — "that some day, somewhere
else, if not here, I'd have to make that begin-
ning, to be something myself. Remember that
old Hindu fellow with a red turban who sat
on your front lawn, beneath the palms, and
had the women gathered around him in a kind
of hypnotic state? He said something like
that — I thought him an old fakir at the time.
He used a lot of flowery language, but I guess,
boiled down, it meant start at the bottom of
the ladder. Build yourself up, the way my
father did," with a certain wistful pride. "You
Her head moved. "Fine Jooking, wasn't
he?" ruminatively. "He got there with his
hands and brains, and honestly. While I
hadn't ever used either. I hope," he broke off,
"all this doesn't sound like. preaching."
"No," she said.
An instant his gaze lingered on her. "You're
sleepy now," he spoke suddenly.
"No, I am not. You found it a little hard,
"A little. When a man is relaxed and the
reaction is on him — " He stopped.
"Tell me— tell me all," she breathed. "Every
bit of it, Harry."
His lips twitched. To hear his almost for-
gotten name spoken again by her! A moment
he seemed to waver. Temptation of violet
eyes; wonder of the rapt face! Oh, that he
might catch her in his arms, claim her anew;
this time for all time ! But again he mastered
himself and went on succinctly, as quickly as
possible. Between the lines, however, the girl
might read the record of struggles which was
very real to her. He had reverted "to the be-
ginning" with poor tools and most scanty expe-
rience. And there was that other fight that
made it a double fight, the fiercer conflict with
self. Hunger, privation, want, which she might
divine, though he did not speak of them, be-
came as lesser details. She listened enrapt
"I guess that's about all," he said at last.
She continued to look at him, his features,
clear-cut in the white light. "And you didn't
ever really go back — ^to undo it all ?"
324 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Once I did go back to Trisco" — he told her
of the relapse with cold candor — *'out at heels,
and ready to give up. I wanted the millions.
They were gone."
"You mean, lost?"
"Yes; he had speculated; was dead. Poor
"You say that? And you have never tried
to get any of the money back?"
"Fortunately, he died bankrupt," said Mr.
"And you failed to show the world he was
a — ^thief ?" Something in the word seared her.
"What was the use? He left a wife and
children. Besides, he really served me by
what the world would call robbing me. I had
to continue at the beginning. It was the foot
of the ladder, all right," he added.
Her face showed no answering gaiety.
"You are going to amount to a great deal some
day," she said. "I think very few of us in
this world find ourselves," she added slowly.
"Perhaps some don't have to hunt so hard
as others/' observed Mr. Heatherbloom.
"Don't they?" Her lips wore an odd little
He threw back his shoulders. "Good night,
now. You are very tired, I know/'
She put out her hand. He took it — ^how
soft and small and cold! The seconds were
throbbing hours ; he couldn't release it, at once.
The little fingers grew warmer — ^warmer in his
palm — ^their very pulsations seemed throbbing
with his. Suddenly he dropped her hand.
"Good night," he said quickly.
He remembered he was nothing to her — ^that
they would soon part for ever.
"Good night," she answered softly.
MORN came. They had heard or seen
nothing of the prince and his men. Mr.
Heatherbloom walked back for a cold plunge
in a stream that had whispered not far from
their camping spot throughout the night. He
and Betty Dalrymple breakfasted together on
an old log; it wasn't much of a meal — a few
crackers and crumbs that were left — ^but nei-
ther appeared to mind the meagemess of the
fare. With much gaiety (the dawn seemed to
have brought with it a special allegrezza of its
own) she insisted upon a fair and equitable
division of their scanty store, even to the ap-
portioning of the crumbs into two equal piles.
Then, prodigal-handed for a castaway who
knew not where her next meal might come
from, she tossed a bit or two to the birds, and
was rewarded by a song.
AN EXPLANATION 327
All this seemed very wonderful to Mr.
Heatherbloom ; there had never before been
such a breakfast ; compared to it, the dejeuner
h la fourchette of a Durand or a Foyot was as
starvation fare. It was surprising how beauti-
ful the dark places of the night before looked
now; daylight metamorphosed the spot into a
sylvan fairyland. Mr. Heatherbloom could
have lingered there indefinitely. The soft
moss wooed him, somewhat aweary with
world contact; she filled his eyes. The faint
shadowy lines beneath hers which he had
noted at the dawn had now vanished ; the same
sun-god that ordered the forest flowers to lift
their gay heads commanded the rosebuds to
unfold their bright petals on her cheeks. Her
lips were as red berries ; the cobwebs, behind,
alight with sunshine, gleamed no more than
the tossed golden hair. She had striven as best
she tnight with the last, not entirely to her own
satisfaction but completely to Mr. Heather-
bloom's. His untutored masculine sense rather
gloried in the unconventionality of a super-
fluous tangle or two; he found her most
328 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
charming with a few rents in her gown from
branch or brier. They seemed to establish a
new bond of camaraderie, to make blithe appeal
to his nomadic soul. It was as if fate had di-
rected her footsteps until they had touched
and lingered on the outer circle of his vaga-
bondage. Both seemed to have forgotten all
about his excellency.
"Rested?" queried Mr. Heatherbloom.
"Quite," she answered. There was no trace
of weariness in her voice. "And you?"
"Ditto," he laughed. Then, more gravely,
"You see, I fell asleep while watching," he
"You'd make a lenient commanding officer.
Shall we go on?"
"I don't exactly know," he confessed.
"That's lovely." Then, tentatively^ "It's
"Fine," he assented. There was no hard-
ness in the violet eyes as they rested on him.
He did not pause to analyze the miracle; he
AN EXPLANATION 329
only accepted it. A moment he yielded to the
temptation of the lotus-eater and continued to
luxuriate in the lap of Arcadia. Then he be-
stirred himself uneasily; it was not sufficient
just to breathe in the golden gladness of the
moment. "Yes; it's fine," he repeated, "only
you see — "
"Of course!" she said with a little sigh, and
rose. "/ see you are going to be very domi-
neering, the way you were yesterday."
"Weren't you?" she demanded, looking at
him from beneath long lashes.
"Fm sure I didn't intend — " He stopped for
she was laughing at him. They went on and her
mood continued to puzzle him. Never had he
seen her so blithe, so gay. She waved her hand
back at the woodland spot. "Good-by," she
Then they came upon the little town sudden-
ly — so suddenly that both appeared bewildered.
Only a hillock had separated them from the
sight of it the night before. They looked
and looked. It lay beneath an upward sweep
330 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
of land, in a cosy indenture of a great circle
that swept far around and away, fringed with
cocoanut trees. Small wisps or corkscrews of
smoke defiled the blue of the sky; a wharf,
with a steamer at the end, obtruded abruptly
upon the curve of the shore. Mr. Heather-
bloom regarded the boat — a link from Arcadia
to the mundane world. He should have been
glad but he didn't seem overwhelmed at the
sight ; he stood very still. He hardly felt her
hand on his sleeve ; the girl's eyes were full of
"What luck!'* he said at length, his voice
low and somewhat more formal.
"Isn't it?" she answered. And drawing in
her breath — "I can scarcely believe it."
"It's there all right." He spoke slowly.
"Come." And they went down. A colored
worker in the fields stared at them, but Betty
nodded gaily, and asked what town it was and
the name of the island. He told them, grow-
ing wonderment in his gaze. How could they
be here and not know that; where had they
come from ? To him they were as mysterious
AN EXPLANATION 331
as two visitants from Mars. Regardless of the
effect they produced on the dusky toiler they
walked on. The island proved to be larger
than they had thought and commercially im-
portant They had, the day before, but crossed
a neck of it
Soon now they reached the verge of the
town and stood on its main artery of traffic ; the
cobblestone pavement resoimded with the rat-
tling of carts and rough native vehicles. At a
curb stood a dilapidated public conveyance to
which was attached a horse of harmoniously
antique aspect. Miss Dalrymple got in and Mr.
Heatherbloom took, his place at her side.
"The cable office," said the girl briefly,
whereupon a lad of mixed ancestry began to
whack energetically the protuberant ribs of
the drowsy steed. It woke him and they clat-
tered down the narrow way. Mr. Heather-
bloom leaned back, his gaze straight ahead, but
Betty Dalrympie looked around with interest
at the people of divers shades and hues, and,
for the most part, in costumes of varying de-
grees of picturesque originality. After having
332 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
narrowly escaped running over a small propor-
tion of the juvenile colored population over-
flowing from odd little shops and houses,
they reached the transportable zinc shed that
served as a cable office. Here Miss Dal-
rymple indited rapidly a most voluminous mes-
sage, paid the clerk in a businesslike manner,
and, unmindful of his amazed expression as
he read what she had written, tranquilly re-
entered the carriage.
"Miss Van Rolsen will be relieved when
she gets that," observed Mr. Heatherbloom
mechanically. "It'll be a happy moment for
"And won't she be gladder still when she
sees us ?" answered the girl gaily.
The use of the plural slightly disconcerted
Mr. Heatherbloom for the moment, but he dis-
missed it as an inadvertence. "Where now?"
"Where do you think?" with dancing eyes.
"Shopping, of course. Fortunately I drew
plenty of money before starting for Califor-
AN EXPLANATION 333
An hour or so later Mr. Heatherbloom sat
with parcels in his arms and bundles galore
around him. He accepted the situation g^race-
f uUy ; indeed, displayed an almost tender solic-
itude for those especial packages she herself
"What next?" She had at length exhausted
the somewhat limited resources of the thor-
"Drive to the best hotel/' was her command.
She laughed at the picture he made, or at some-
thing in her own thoughts. She had uncon-
sciously assumed toward him a manner in the
least proprietary, but if he noticed he did not
resent it. They went faster; her voice was a
low thread of music running through an ac-
companiment of crashing dissonances. She
wore a hat now — ^the best she could find. He
considered it most "fetching", but her thrilling
derision overwhelmed his expression of opin-
ion. Though the way was so rough that they
were occasionally thrown rather violently one
against another, they arrived in high spirits at
their destination, Mr. Heatherbloom having
334 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
performed the commendable feat of preserv-
ing intact the parcels and bundles en route. In
the "best hotel" they were given two rooms
overlooking a courtyard redolent with or-
chids. The girl nodded a brief farewell to him
from the threshold of her room.
"In about an hour, please, come back."
He did, brushed up and with shoes shined, as
presentable as possible. She wore the same
gown, but the sundry rents were mended and
there had occurred other changes he could
divine rather than define. He brought her in-
formation — not agreeable, he said. He was
very sorry, but the next boat for the United
States would not call at the island for a fort-
night. He expected her to show dismay, but
she received the news with commendable forti-
tude, if not resignation.
"I can cable aunt every day — so there can be
no cause for worry — and she will only be the
more pleased when we actually do arrive."
Again the plural! And once more that
prophetic jMCture which included Mr. Heather-
bloom within the pale of the venerable and
AN EXPLANATION 335
austere Miss Van Rolsen's jubilation. He
looked embarrassed but said nothing. During
the hour of his exclusion from Miss Dalrym-
ple's company* he had sallied forth on a small
but necessary financial errand of his own.
Francois had- placed in the basket of biscuits
a revolver, and this latter Mr. Heatherbloom,
rightfully construing it as his own personal
property in lieu of the weapon his excellency
had deprived him of, had exchanged for a bit
of cardboard and a greenback. The last named,
reinforced by the small amount Mr. Heather-
bloom had left upon reaching the Nevski and
of which the prince had not deprived him,
would relieve his necessities for the moment.
After that ? Well, he would take up the prob-
lem presently ; he had no time for it now. This
day, at least, should be consecrated to Betty
He had an inkling that on the morrow he
would see less of her; the girl's story would
gtt around. The American consul would call
and tender his services. The governor, too.
Sir Charles Somebody, whose palatial resi-
336 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
dence looked down on the town from the side
of the hill, might be expected to become offi-
cially and paternally interested. The little
cable office, despite rules and regulations, could
not long retain its prodigious secret ; moreover
Mr. Heatherbloom, in an absent-minded mo-
ment, had inscribed Miss Dalrymple's name on
the register, or visitors' book. He recalled how
the eyes of the old mammy, the proprietress,
had fairly rolled with curiosity. No ; he would
not be permitted long to have her to himself,
he ruminated; better make the most of his op-
portunity now. Besides, his present monetary
position forbade his presence for more than a
day or two at the "best hotel" ; its rates were
for him distinctly prohibitive. The exigencies
of financial differences would soon separate
them ; she could draw on Miss Van Rolsen for
thousands; he had but five dollars and twelve
cents — or was it thirteen ? — to his name.
He kept these reflections, however, to' him-
self and continued to bask in the sunshine of
a fool's paradise. They rode, walked and ex-
plored. They went to the fruit and the flower
AN EXPLANATION 337
maricet He bought her a great bunch of flow-
ers, and she not only took it but wore it For
a time he stepped on air; his flowers consti-
tuted a fine splash of color on the girl's gown.
Her heart beat beneath them ; the thought was
"Shall we?" They had partaken of tea (or
nectar) in a small shop, and now she paused be-
fore that most modern manifestation of a rest-
less civilization, a begilded, over-ornamented
nickelodeon. "Think of finding one of them
way off here ! Just as at home !"
"More extraordinary your wanting to go
in!" he laughed.
"Why not ? It will be a 1 experience."
They entered; the place was half filled and
they took seats toward the back. There were
films and songs of the usual character ; it was
very gay. Gurgles of merriment from Creoles
and darkies were heard on all sides. They, too,
yielded freely, gladly to its infection. Happy
Creoles! happy darkies! happy Betty Dalrym-
ple and Horatio Heatherbloom — ^heiress and
outcast ! There is a democracy in laughter ; yon
338 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
darky smiled at Miss Dalrymple, while Mr.
Heatherbloom laughed with her, with them,
and the world. For was she not near, right
there by his side? To Mr. Heatherbloom the
tinsel palace had become a temple of felicity
and wonder. Suddenly he started and his face
•'The Great Diamond Robbery/' one of the
films, was in progress, and there, depicted on
the canvas, amid many figures, he saw himsdf,
the most pronounced in that realistic group.
And Betty Dalrymple saw the semblance of
him, also, for she gave a slight gasp and sat
more erect. In the moving picture he was run-
ning away from a crowd.
"Shall— shall we go?'' The face of the
flesh-and-blood Mr. Heatherbloom was very
red ; he looked toward the door.
She did not answer ; her eyes continued bent
straight before her, and she saw the whole
quick scene of the drama unfolded. Then the
street became cleared, the fleeing figure had
turned a corner as an automobile, not engaged
for the performance, came around it and went
AN EXPLANATION 339
by. A big car — ^her own — ^she was in it She
caught, like a flash on the canvas^ a glimpse
of herself looking around ; then the scene came
to an end. Betty Dalrymple laughed — sl little
"Oh," she said. "Oh, oh!"
He became, if possible, redder.
"Oh," she repeated. Then, "Why"— with
eyes full of mingled tragedy and comedy —
"did you not explain it all that day, when — ^"
Of course she knew even as she spoke why
he could not, or would not.
"You had cause to think so many things,"
"But that! How — how strange! I saw
you, and — "
He laughed. "And the manager told me I
was a Votten bad' actor! Those were his
words ; not very elegant But I believed him,
until now — "
"Say something harsh and hard to me," she
whispered, almost fiercely. "I deserve it."
The violet eyes were passionate. "Betty l"
he exclaimed wonderingly.
340 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Do you call that harsh?" she demanded
mockingly. "You — you should be cross with
me — scold me — ^punish me — "
"Well," he said calmly, "you haven't be-
lieved that, lately, anyhow."
"No ; I just set it aside as something incom-
prehensible, not to be thought of, or to be con-
sidered any more. I believed in you, with all
my soul, since last night — a good deal before
that, yes, yes ! — in my innermost heart ! You
believe me, don't you?"
He answered, he hardly knew what Some
one was singing Put on Your Old Gray Bon-
net. Her shoulder touched his arm and lin-
gered there. "Oh, my dear!" she was saying
to herself. The pianist banged; the vocalist
bawled, while Mr. Heatherbloom sat in ecstasy.
THEY took her away the next day. The
governor — Sir Charles Somebody — ^had
heard of her and came and claimed her. His
lady — portly, majestic — arrived with him.
Their carriage was the finest on the island and
their horses were the best. The coachman and
footman were covered with the most approved
paraphernalia and always constituted an unend-
ing source of wonder and admiration for the
natives. The latter gathered in front of the
best hotel on this occasion ; they did not quite
know what was taking place, but the sight of
the big carriage there drew them about like
Mr. Heatherbloom did not linger to specu-
late or to survey. He had seen but not spoken
to Miss Dalrymple that morning; she had
smiled at him across space, behind orchids. A
342 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
moment or two he had sat dreaming how fine
it would be to live for ever in such a courtyard,
with Betty Dalrymple's face on the other side,
Ihen the hubbub below disturbed and dispelled
his reflections. He went down to investigate
Und to retreat. Sir Charles and his lady were
in the hall; they seemed to charge the entire
hostelry with their presence. Mr. Heather-
bloom walked contemplatively out and down
His mind, with a little encouragement, would
have flitted back to courtyards and orchids,
but he forced it along less fanciful lines. Mun-
niane considerations were imperative and court-
yards were a luxury of the rich. He calculated
that, after paying his bill at the best hotel, he
wouldn't have much more than half a dollar, or
two English shillings, left. The situation de-
manded calm practical reflection ; he strove to
bestow upon it the necessary measure of or-
derly thinking. Yesterday, with its nickelo-
deon, or temple of wonder, was yesterday ; to-
day, with its problems, was to-day. He had
lingered in the happy valley, or kingdom of
Micomicon, but the carriage was before the
door — ^the golden chariot had come to bear
away the beautiful princess.
Mr. Heatherbloom asked for employment at
the wharf and got it. The supercargo of the
boat, loading there, had been indulging, not
wisely but too well, in "green swizzles", an
insidious drink of the country, and, when last
seen was oblivious to the world. A red-haired
mate, with superfluous utterance, informed the
applicant he could come that afternoon and
temporarily essay the delinquent one's duties,
checking up the bagp of merchandise and ba-
nanas the natives were bringing aboard, and
otherwise making himself useful. Mr. Heath-
erbloom tendered his thanks and departed.
He wandered aimlessly for a while, but the
charm of the town had vanished; he gazed
with no interest upon quaint bits most attract-
ive yesterday, and stolidly regarded now those
happy faces he had liked so much but a short
time before. He shook himself ; this would not
do ; but the work would soon cure him of vain
344 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
He returned to the hotel and settled with the
landlady. Betty Dalrymple was gone. Of
course, there could be no denying Sir Charles
and his lady; one of the young girl's place and
position in the world could not, with reason
or good grace, refuse the governor's hospital-
ity. Mr. Heatherbloom was hardly a suitable
chaperon. But she had left a hasty and alto-
gether charming note for him which he read
the liist few moments he spent in the court-
yard room. "Come soon;" that was the sub-
stance of it. What more could mortal have
asked? Mr. Heatherbloom gazed at an empty
window where he had last seen her (had
they been there only twenty- four hours?),
then he took a bit of painting on ivory from
his pocket and wrapped the message around it
Before noon he had engaged cheap but neat
lodgings at the home of an old negro woman.
Several days passed. After waiting in vain
for him to call at the governor's mansion,
Betty Dalrymple drove herself to the hotel;
here she learned that he had gone without leav-
ing an address ; a message from Sir Charles for
Mr. Heatherbloom, formally offering to put
the latter up at government house, had not
been delivered. Mr. Heatherbloom had failed
to call for his mail.
''Really, my dear, such solicitude!" mur-
mured the governor's wife, when Miss Dalrym-
ple came out of the hotel. "An ordinary secret-
service man, too."
"Oh, no ; not an ordinary one," said the girl
a little confusedly. She had not taken the lib-
erty of speaking of Mr. Heatherbloom's pri-
vate affairs to her august hosts. His true
name, or his story, were his to reveal when or
where he saw fit. In taking her into his confi-
dence he had sealed her lips until such time
as she had his permission to speak.
"Well, don't worry about the man," ob-
served the elder lady rather loftily. "Ther^ has
been a big reward offered, of course, and he'll
appear in due time to claim it."
"He'll not," began Betty Dalrymple indig-
nantly, and stopped.
She had been obliged to explain in some way
Mr. Heatherbloom's presence, and the subter-
346 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
fuge he had himself employed toward her on
the Nevski had been the only one that occurred
to her. A brave secret-service officer who had
aided her — that's what Mr. Heatherbloom was
to the governor and his better half. Hence
the distinct formality of Sir Charles' note to
Mr. Heatherbloom, indited at Miss Dalrym-
ple's special request and somewhat against the
good baronet's own secret judgment A police
agent may be valiant as a lion, but he is not a
Something of this axiomatic truth the ex-
cellent hosts strove to instill by means, more
or less subtle, in the mind of their yot^ig guest ;
but she clung with odd tenacity to her own
ingenuous point of view. Whereupon Sir
Charles figuratively shrugged. Reprehensible
democracy of the new world! She, with the
perversity of American womankind, actually
spoke of, and, no doubt, desired to treat the fel-
low as an equal.
She found him one morning, a day or two
later. She came down to the wharf, alone,
and on foot. He held a note-book and pencil.
but that he had not been above lending physi-
cal assistance, on occasion, to the natives bear-
ing bags and other merchandise, was evident
from his hands which were grimy as a steve-
dore's. His shirt was open at the throat, and
his face, too, bore marks of toil. Betty Dal-
rymple stepped impetuously toward him; she
looked as fresh as a flower, and held out a
hand gloved in immaculate white.
"Dare I?" he laughed.
"If you don't!" Her eyes dared him not to
He looked at the hand, such a delicate thing,
and seemed still in the least uncertain ; then his
fingers closed on it
"You see I managed to find you," she said.
**Who is that man who stares so ?"
"That," answered Mr. Heatherbloom smil-
ing, "is my boss."
"Well," she observed, "I don't like his face."
"Some of the darkies he's knocked down
share, I believe, your opinion," he laughed
"Excuse me a moment." And Mr. Heather-
bloom stepped to the dumfounded person in
348 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
question, handed him the note-book and pencil,
with a request to keep tab for a moment, and
then returned to the girl. "Now, I'm at your
command," he said with a smile.
"Suppose we take a walk?" she suggested.
"We can talk better if we do."
A moment Mr. Heatherbloom wavered.
"Sorry," he then said, "but IVe promised
to stick by the job. You see the old tub sails
to-morrow for South America and it'll be a
task to get her loaded before night. Some of
the hands, as well as the supercargo, have been
bowled over by fire-water."
"I see." There was a strained look about
her lips. Before them heavily laden negroes
and a few sailors passed and repassed. The
burly red-headed mate often looked at her;
amazement and curiosity were depicted on his
features; he almost forgot the duties Mr.
Heatherbloom had, for a brief interval, thrust
upon him. Betty Dalrymple, however, had
ceased to observe him ; he, the others, no longer
existed for her. She saw only Mr. Heather-
bloom now ; what he said, she knew he meant ;
she realized with an odd thrill of mingled ad-
miration and pain that even she could not cause
him to change his mind. He would "stick to
his job", because he had said he would.
"I'm interrupting, I fear," she said, a feel-
ing of strange humility sweeping over her.
"When is your day's work done ?"
"About six, I expect."
"The governor gives a ball for me to-night,"
"Excellent. All the elite of the port will
be there, and," with slow meditative accent, "I
can imagine how you'll look !"
"Can you?" she asked, bending somewhat
"Yes." His gaze was straight ahead.
The white glove stole toward the black hand.
"Why don't you come?"
"I?" He stared.
"Yes; the governor has sent you an invita-
tion. He thinks you a secret-service officer."
Mr. Heatherbloom continued to look at her;
then he glanced toward the boat. Suddenly his
hand closed ; he hardly realized the white glove
3SO A MAN AND HIS MONEY
was in it. "FU do it, Betty," he exclaimed.
"That is> if I can. And — there may be a way.
Yes; there will be." ^
"You mean, you may be able to rent them ?"
With a sparkle in her glance.
"Exactly," he answered gaily, recklessly.
Both laughed. Then her expression changed ;
she suppressed an exclamation, but gently
withdrew her hand.
"How many dances will you give me,
Betty ?" He had not even noticed that he had
hurt her ; his voice was low and eager.
"Ask and see," she said merrily, and went.
But outside the shed, she stretched her crushed
fingers; he was very strong; he had spoiled a
new pair of gloves ; she did not, however, seem
greatly to mind. As for Mr. Heatherbloom,
for the balance of the day he plunged into his
task with the energy of an Antaeus.
Sir Charles regarded rather curiously that
night one of his guests who arrived late. Mr.
Heatherbloom's evening garments were not a
Poole fit, and his white gloves, though white
enough, had obviously been used and cleaned
often. But the host observed, also, that Mr.
Heatherbloom held himself well, said just the
right thing to the hostess, and moved through
the assemblage with quite the proper poise. He
didn't look bored, neither did he appear over-
impressed by the almost palatial elegance of the
ball-room. He even managed to suppress any
outward signs of elation at the sight of Miss
Dalrymple with whom he had but the oppor-
tunity for a word or two, at first. Naturally
the center of attraction, the young girl found
herself forced to dance often. He, too, whirled
around with others, just whom, he did not
know ; he dipped into Terpsichorean gaiety to
escape the dowager's inquisition regarding that
haphazard flight from the Nevski and other
details he did not wish to converse about. But
his turn came with Betty at last, and sooner
than he had reason to expect.
"Ours is the next ?" she said, passing him.
Was it ? He had ventured to write his name
thrice on her card, but neither of the dances he
had claimed was the next.
352 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"I put your name down for this one myself/'
she confessed to him a few moments later.
"Do you mind ?"
Did he? The evening wore away but too
soon; he held her to him a little while, only
over-quickly to be obliged to yield her to an-
other. And now, after a third period of wait-
ing, the time came for their last dance. He
went for it as soon as the number preceding
was over ; he wanted, not only to miss none of
it, but he hungered to snatch all the prelude he
could. The conventional-looking young per-
sonage she had been dancing with regarded the
approaching Mr. Heatherbloom rather resent-
fully, but he moved straight as an arrow for
her. At once she stepped toward him, and he
soon found himself walking with her across the
smooth shining floor, on into the great con-
servatory. Here were soft shadows and won-
drous perfumes. Mr. Heatherbloom breathed
"But a few days more, and we're en route
for home." It was the girl who spoke first-^
lightly, gaily — ^though there was a thrill in her
He started and did not answer at once.
"That will be great, won't it?" His voice, too,
was light, but it did not seem so spontaneously
glad as her own.
"You are pleased, aren't you?" she said sud-
"Pleased? Of course!"
A brief period of inexplicable constraint!
He looked at one of her hands resting on the
edge of a great vase — at a flower she held in
May I ?" he said, and just touched it.
Of course!" she laughed. "A modest re-
quest, after all you've done for me !"
Her fingers placed it in the rented coat.
*There!" she murmured in a matter-of-fact
tone, stepping back.
His face, turned to the light, appeared paler ;
his eyes looked studiously beyond her.
"It will be jolly on the steamer, won't it?"
she went on.
354 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"Jolly? Oh, yes," he assented, with false
enthusiasm, when a black and white apparition
appeared before them, no less a person than
The governor, as the bearer of particular
news, had been looking for her. Mr. Heather-
bloom hardly appreciated the preamble or the
importance of what followed. Sir Charles im-
parted a bit of confidential information they
were not to breathe to any one until he had
verified the particulars. Word had just been
brought to him that the Nevski had gone on a
reef near a neighboring island and was a total
wreck. A passing steamer had stood by, taken
off the prince and his crew and landed them.
Still Mr. Heatherbloom but vaguely heard ; he
felt little interest at the moment in his excel-
lency or his boat. Betty Dalrymple's face,
however, showed less indifference to this start-
"The Nevski a wreck ?** she murmured.
"It must all seem like an evil dream to you
now,'* Mr. Heatherbloom spoke absently.
"Your having ever been on her !*'
"Not all an evil one," she answered. They
stood again on the ball-room floor. "Much
good has come from it. I no longer hate the
prince. I only blame myself a great deal for
He seemed to hear only her first words.
" 'Good come from it?' I don't understand."
"But for the Nevski, and what happened to
me, I should have gone on thinking, as I did,
"And — ^would that have made such a differ-
She raised her eyes. "What do you think ?"
The music had begun. He who had hereto-
fore danced perfectly, now guided wildly.
"Take care !" she whispered.
But discretion seemed to have left him; he
spoke he knew not what — ^wild mad words
that would not be suppressed. They came in
contact with another couple and were brought
to an abrupt stop. Flaming poppies shone on
her cheeks; her eyes were brightly beaming.
But she laughed and they went on. He swept
3S6 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
her out of the crowded ball-room now, on to
the broad veranda where a few other couples
also moved in the starlight On her curved lips
a smile rested; it seemed to draw his head
*'Betty, do you mean it ?" Again the words
were wrested from him, would come. "What
your eyes said just now ?"
She lifted them again, gladly, freely — not
only that —
"Yes; I mean it — ^mean it," said her lips.
"Of course! Foolish boy! I have long meant
"Long?" he cried.
"You heard what the Russian woman
"About there being some one? Then it
was — "
'Guess." The sweet laughing lips were
close ; his swept them passionately. He found
the answer ; the world seemed to go roiQd.
But later, that night, there was no J«*y cwi
Mr. Heatherbloom's face. In his room in
the old negro woman's house, he indited a
letter. It was brought to Betty Dalrsrmple the
next morning as the early sunshine entered
her chamber overlooking the governor's park.
"Darling : Forgive me. I am sailing at dawn
on the old tub, for South America — "
Here the note fell from the girl's hand.
Long she looked out of the window. Then
she went back to the bit of paper, took it and
held it against her breast before she again
read. She seemed to know now what would
be in it; the strange depression that had come
over her after he had left last night was ac-
counted for. Of coursd, he would not go back
to New York with her ; he would, or could, ac-
cept nothing, in the way she wished, from her
or her aunt. It was necessary for him still to
be Mr. Heatherbloom ; he had not yet "found
himself" fully ; the beginning he had spoken of
was only begun. The influential friends of his
father in the financial world had become impos-
sible aids ; he had to continue as he had planned,
3S8 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
to go his own way, and his, alone. It would
have been easy for him, as his father's son and
the prospective nephew of the influential Miss
Van Rolsen, to have obtained one of those large
salaried positions, or "sinecures", with little to
do. But that would be only beginning at the
end once more.
Again she essayed to read. The letter would
have been a little incomprehensible to any one
except herself, but she understood. There were
three "darlings"; inexcusable tautology! She
kissed them all, but she kissed oftenest the end :
"You will forgive me for forgetting myself —
God knows I didn't intend to— and you will
wait; have faith? It is much to ask — ^too
much; but if you will, I think my father's son
and he whom you have honored by caring for,
may yet prove a little worthy — "
The words brought a sob to her throat ; she
threw herself back on the bed. "A little?" she
cried, still holding the note tight in her hand.
But after a spell of weeping, once more she
got up and looked out of the window. The
sunshine was very bright, the birds sang to her.
Did she take heart a little? A great wave of
sadness bowed her down, but courage, too,
began to revive in her.
"Have faith?'* She looked up at the sky;
she would do as he asked — unto the grave, if
need be. Then, very quietly, she dressed and
IT is very gay at the Hermitage, in Moscow^
just after Easter, and so it was natural
that Sonia Turgeinov should have been there
on a certain bright afternoon some three years
later. The theater, at which she once more ap-
peared, was closed for the afternoon, and at
this season following Holy Week and fasting,
fashionables and others were wont to congre-
gate in the spacious cafe and grounds, where a
superb orchestra discourses classical or dash-
ing selections. The musicians played now an
"Some one at a table out there on the balcony
sent a request by the head waiter for it," said
a member of Sonia Turgeinov's party — sl Pa-
risian artist, not long in Moscow.
"An American, no doubt," she answered ab-
sently, sipping her wine. The three years had
treated her kindly; the few outward changes
could be superficially enumerated: A little
more embonpoint; a tendency toward a slight
drooping at the corners of the mobile lips, and
moments when the shadows seemed to stay
rather longer in the deep eyes.
"That style of music should appeal to you,
Madam," observed the Frenchman. "You who
have been among those favored artists to visit
the land of the free. Did you have to play
in a tent, and were you literally showered with
"Both," she laughed. "It is a land of many
"I have heard es ist alles 'the almighty dol-
lar'," said a musician from Berlin, one of the
"Exaggeration, mein HerrT she retorted,
with a wave of the hand. "It is also a komis-
cher romantischer land*" For a moment she
"Isn't that his excellency, Prince Boris Stro-
gareff?" inquired abruptly a young man with
a beyond-the- Volga physiognomy.
She started. "The prince?" An odd look
362 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
came into her eyes. "Do you believe in tele-
pathic waves. Monsieur?" she said gaily to the
"Not to any great extent. Madam. Mais
"Nothing. But I don't see this prince you
"He has disappeared now," replied her
countryman, a fellow-player recently come
from Odessa. "It is his first dip again into
the gaieties of the world. For several years,"
with the proud accents of one able to impart
information concerning an important person-
age, "he has been living in seclusion on his vast
estates near the Caspian Sea — ruling a king-
dom greater than many a European principal-
ity. But have you never met the prince ?" To
Sonia Turgeinov. "He used to be a patron
of the arts, according to report, before the
sad accident that befell him."
"I think," observed Sonia Turgeinov, with
brows bent as if striving to recollect, "I did
meet him once. But a poor actress is forced to
meet so many princes and nobles, nowadays/'
she laughed, "that—"
"True! Only one would not easil;^ forget
the prince, the handsomest man in Asia."
She yawned slightly.
"What was this *sad accident* you were
speaking of, mein Herr?" observed the Ger-
man, with a mind trained to conversational
"The prince was cruising somewhere and his
yacht was wrecked," said the young Roscius
from Odessa. "A number of the crew were
drowned ; his excellency, when picked up, was
unconscious. A blow on the head from a fall-
ing timber, or from being dashed on the rocks,
I'm not sure which. At any rate, for a long
time his life was despaired of, but he recovered
and is as strong and sound as ever. Only,
there is a strange sequel; or not so strange,"
reflectively, "since cases of its kind are com-
mon. The injury was on his head, as I re-
marked, and his mind became — "
"Affected, Monsieur?" said the Frenchman.
364 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"You mean this great noble of the steppe is no
longer right, mentally?"
'*He is one of the keenest satraps in Asia,
Monsieur. His brain is as alert as ever, only
he has suffered a complete loss of memory."
Sonia Turgeinbv's interest was of a dis-
tinctly artificial nature ; she tapped on the floor
with her foot ; then abruptly arose. "Shan't
we go into the garden for our coffee ?" she said.
"It is close here."
They got up and walked out. As they did so
they passed a couple at one of the tables on the
balcony and a slight exclamation fell from
Sonia Turgeinov's lips. For an instant she ex-
hibited real interest, then hastening down the
steps, she selected a place some distance aside.
A great bunch of flowers was in the center of
the table and she moved her chair behind them.
"You see some one you know, gnddige
Madam ?" asked the observant Teuton.
"A great many people," she answered.
"There's that American over there who
asked for the Yankee piece of music," said the
Frenchman, with eyes on the two people Sonia
Turgeinov had started at sight of, a moment
before. ''Mon Dieu! What charm! What
''Der Herr Amerikaner?*' blurted the sur-
"No — diable! His helle companion !"
"Where ?" said Soma Turgeinov, well know-
ing. A face that her table companion regarded,
she, too, saw beyond the flowers. The after-
noon sunshine touched the golden hair of her
she looked at ; the violet eyes shone with delight
upon bizarre details of the scene — ^the waiters
in blouses resembling street "white wings" in
American cities, the coachmen outside, big as
balloons in their quilted cloaks.
*'Der Herr Amerikaner has the passionate
eyes of an admirer, a devout lover," murmured
the sentimental musician from Berlin.
"Or an American husband !" said Roscius
"Sometimes!" added the Frenchman cyn-
"I haf met him," observed the Herr Musik-
aner, "at the hotel. We haf talked together.
366 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
once or twice. He has been in South America
— ^Argentine, ich glaube — ^and has made a for-
tune there. And madam, his wife, and he are
making a grand tour of the world. Their wed-
ding trip, I believe. Sie kommt von einer der
ersten Familien — ^the Dalrymples. Der Herr
Direktor of the Russicher-Chinese bank told
me. He cashes the drafts — H^ Gott — nicht
These prosaic details the Frenchman, pic-
torially occupied, hardly heard. *'Mon Dieu!
What a chapeau!" he sighed. "No wonder he
looks enchanted at that wonderful creation of
the Rue de la Paix."
**He seems quite an exception to some hus^
bands in that respect!" remarked the Berliner
in deep gutturals.
Sonia Turgeinov lighted a cigarette and blew
the smoke at the flowers. There was a resent-
ful cynicism in the act; she leaned back with
greater abandon m her chair. "After all, the
unities have been observed," she said with an
"What unities?" asked Roscius, becoming
keen as a young hound on the scent, at the
sound of the trite phrase.
"Oh, I was thinking of a play." Stretching
more comfortably. Suddenly her cigarette
waved; behind the flowers, her eyes dilated.
Prince Boris Strogareff was coming down the
steps ; he passed the American couple they had
been talking about and looked at them. A light
of involuntary admiration shone from his gaze,
but there was no recognition in it— Hjnly the
instinctive tribute that a man of the world and
a gallant Russian is ever prone to pay at the
sight of an unusually charming member of the
other sex. Then, once more impassive^-a strik-
ing handsome figure — ^he moved leisurely down
and out of the gardens. The couple, engrossed
at the time in a conversation of some intimate
nature or in each other, had not even seen or .
noticed the august nobleman.
Sonia Turgeinov drew harder on the cig-
arette ; a laugh welled from her throat. "Oh,
I wouldn't have missed it for worlds !*' she said.
Young Roscius with the Tartar eyes stared
at her. She threw away the smoking cylinder.
368 A MAN AND HIS MONEY
"I'm oflf !"
^Has not the curtain descended?" enigmat-
"I don't see any curtain," said the French-
No? But it's there." At the gate, how-
ever, once more she paused — to listen, to laugh.
^'Was jetztf asked the mystified Berliner.
She only shrugged.
The orchestra, having played a few conven-
tional selections after Dixie, had now plunged
into Marching through Georgia.
As Sonia Turgeinov disappeared through the
gate, the golden head surmounted by the "won-
derful chapeau", bent toward the clean-cut,
strong-looking face of the young man on the
other side of the small table.
"It's awfully extravagant of you, Harry, —
twenty roubles, a tip for those musicians. But
it makes it seem like home, doesn't it ?"
"Yes, darling," he answered.
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